Here are five observations from the Warriors' 113-93 blowout loss to the Raptors on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
This was a potential NBA Finals preview between two teams viewed as the best in their respective conferences.
Toronto beat Golden State 131-128 in overtime on November 29. "The sweep doesn't mean nothing in terms of when the lights are the brightest on the biggest stage in the playoffs".
"They got veterans over there".
Steph Curry and the Warriors stumbled Wednesday night at home.
They combined for only 26 points on a poor 32% from the field.
Lowry finished with 23 points and 12 assists and Ibaka tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto won despite also losing seven-foot center Jonas Valanciunas to a dislocated left thumb in the first half. And 13 of the Warriors' 19 turnovers came from Durant (five), Curry (four) and Draymond Green (four). Such an evacuation is uncommon at Oracle in this Warriors era.
He recently found himself in one of those stretches, going 4-for-28 across four games to start December, barely attempting any shots inside the 3-point line and looking nothing like his typical self. "That is the story today". - Griffin talking about Monroe, who had five points and five rebounds in 7 1/2 minutes. " ... But narratives are interesting depending on how you look at it". "I thought we did a good job following the game plan". But knowing that him being out, a lot of things go through other people. It's a part of the culture around our team sometimes.
It takes the right kind of point guard to orchestrate an attack against the Warriors without the slightest panic.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr had a theory of what went wrong on this evening. It is a different vibe and feeling than when you're on the climb. "It's not an excuse, it's just reality".
"Nah", he simply responded. "They are obviously a great team".
The small forward then explained why the Raptors are genuine Championship contenders this year.
"Nah", Durant said when asked about the team's lack of motivation. "We kept going, kept going, and I think that kind of helped us". We respect every team that comes in here, no matter what their record is. Some teams can outwork the Warriors when they meet in the regular season and occasionally outshoot them, but they nearly never tear the defending champs apart in such systematic fashion-least of all with their best player out of the lineup. "We have to be a better basketball team the next game".