Raptors Prove They Can Challenge the Warriors Like Few Teams Can

Kawhi Leonard Christmas

Oracle Arena had won the battle rather handily over the years, but in the final shot at this building - barring a meeting with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Final next May - the Raptors got the last laugh. They got a new coach, but the leaders of that team have been through some wars. We knew it was going to be a challenge for us and I thought that Kyle did a phenomenal job leading the team. They've been ballin' before that, and they're going to be ballin' after they beat us.

"They're one of the best teams in the league for a reason and their offence is so lethal that you try to take the main guys out and make them do things that they're not comfortable doing", VanVleet said.

Playing the two-time defending National Basketball Association champions in their raucous home arena - a place where they haven't won since February, 2004 - on the second night of a back-to-back with their all-star forward out with a sore hip and their backup centre limited to eight minutes by an injury, the Raptors had every reason to fold their tent here Wednesday.

The Raptors are playing the second game of a back-to-back.

Thirteen days later, with a healthy Curry and Green, the rested, zooming Warriors faced the Raptors trudging into the second night of a back-to-back without Kawhi in Oakland.

Curry scored 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Kyle Lowry finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Raptors while Serge Ibaka had a wonderful game with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

"Came out with the right intentions", Curry said. "Athletic wings and bigs that can shoot 3s and put the ball on the floor". Tonight, they were obviously the better team and everybody seemed to have confidence and was playing off each other really well. "We just didn't quite have it", Warriors coach Steve Kerr confessed.

"It was one of those tough nights".

"We're now in a place where we're defending a title and defending a mantle that we've had for several years and it's a different vibe, it's a different feeling than when you're on the climb like Toronto is, like Milwaukee is, like we were few we years ago", he said.

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