To drive home that this might be a special year north of the border, Toronto absolutely mashed Golden State on Wednesday night in Oracle Arena despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard didn't play.
Valanciunas, who had six points and seven rebounds in just eight minutes, was hit across both hands by Golden State's Draymond Green while Valanciunas trying to make a move to the basket.
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant offered some high praise for the Toronto Raptors after watching the Eastern Conference powerhouse knock off the back-to-back defending National Basketball Association champions for the second time in less than two weeks.
"The last couple of games we have been nearly inefficient offensively", Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said before his team appeared to get back on track against the Suns. They've been ballin' before that, and they're going to be ballin' after they beat us. So they're not an up-and-coming team.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points, Danny Green scored 15, Pascal Siakam had 13 and Fred VanVleet 10 to help the Raptors improve to an NBA-best 23-7, matching the 2014-15 squad for the best start in franchise history. The Warriors had won four straight heading into a much-anticipated showdown between two teams many expect to reach the NBA Finals.
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The Raptors' defense was on point throughout the night against a healthy Warriors group that could never find a rhythm.
Thompson missed all five of his 3-point attempts and Curry went just 2-for-8 from beyond the arc as Golden State shot just 23.1 percent (6-for-26) on 3-point tries. "Then in the fourth quarter, obviously, (against Miami) we were not good". They're expected to take the King down each and every year, and for all but one year, they've done it.
"I'm sure we could have done better", Lowry said.
"Once they started missing a little bit, it took some of their confidence and you could tell they were worn out from Monday night", Green said.
Warriors: Andre Iguodala sat out a second straight game with a hip injury sustained during warmups Monday. "It's harder to get up for each game". It was just shot-making, really.