Raptors can’t keep pace with high-scoring Warriors as O.G. Anunooby leaves early with wrist injury

The Raptors played like Warriors on Friday night on the west coast.

But a night of shot-making, high-end entertainment and high-octane offence at its finest, was  ultimately a lost exercise as Toronto succumbed to the Golden State Warriors, 129-117, ending a modest two-game win streak.

The Raptors dropped to 22-28 with the setback and they remain a game behind Washington for the 10th and final play-in berth in the Eastern Conference.

The game has highlighted by high-end point-guard play pitting Fred VanVleet against Steph Curry, by far the game’s best players. Curry got the edge by posting a game-high 35 points, a big reason why the Warriors won. VanVleet scored a team-best 28 points.

Scottie Barnes added 24 points for Toronto while Klay Thompson complemented Curry’s night with 29 points. Pascal Siakam had a rare off-night for the visitors with 21 points on 8-for-26 shooting.

O.G. Anunoby was limited to 10 minutes (and one point) following a wrist injury he suffered in the second quarter. More on that below.

Two nights earlier, it was Toronto’s defence that fuelled a big-time win over the host Sacramento Kings to start this western swing. However, defence — most notably in transition — was an issue Friday night, though not many teams could have kept the Warriors at bay.

The Raptors and Warriors lit up in the game’s opening 24 minutes. When the buzzer sounded, the host Warriors took a 63-62 lead into intermission.

The pace of play was frenetic, a style that is suited to Golden State’s up-tempo identity but it was the Raptors who played right into Golden State’s hands. And still, Toronto trailed just 98-94 heading into the fourth quarter.

The team’s seven-game trip continues Saturday in Portland.


Anunoby was taken to the locker room in the second quarter with an apparent injury to his left wrist when he was fouled hard on an attempted dunk by JaMychal Green.

Clearly in pain, Anunoby, who landed awkwardly on his left arm, managed to shoot his free throws, meaning he could still play. The question was whether he would. Turns out he never did return.

With the opening half about to end, the club announced that Anunoby would be out with a left wrist sprain.

X-Rays were negative, but further tests will be on Saturday’s to-do list.

Anunoby, it seems, has never caught a break since his rookie season in 2019. His most recent setback was an ankle injury.

Precious Achiuwa started the second half in Anunoby’s absence.


The latest gossip involving VanVleet has nothing to do with any change in teams.

This one involves a much speculated change in representation.

With VanVleet poised to cash in big on his next contract, word is he’s on the cusp of joining Klutch Sports, the L.A.-based agency whose highest-profiled client is LeBron James.

Technically, VanVleet becomes an unrestricted free agency this summer unless an extension gets hammered out with the Raptors.

With the Feb. 9 trade deadline approaching, there’s always the possibility of the Raptors parting company with VanVleet.

His leadership, ability to make shots, defence and his championship pedigree make VanVleet highly coveted.

Toronto’s western trip began with a date in Sacramento on Wednesday night when VanVleet was matched up against De’Aaron Fox.

Friday night’s assignment involved Curry, who was fined $25,000 earlier in the day by the NBA for throwing his mouth piece into the stands Wednesday night when Memphis paid a visit to the Chase Center.

Up next is Damian Lillard on Saturday night in Portland followed by a date in Phoenix on Monday and a matchup with Chris Paul.

Speaking of Paul, it was Rich Paul, James’ best friend, who started the sports agency Klutch Sports Group, which also represents Anunoby.


Once again, the Raptors were without Dalano Banton, but some encouraging news did emerge when head coach Nick Nurse held court prior to Friday night’s tip.

According to Nurse, Monday looms as a target date for Banton, who has been nursing a hip pointer.

When Banton does return from his extended absence, it will be interesting to see how Nurse uses the second-year wing or if he even gets used at all.

Banton hasn’t played since Dec. 18 when the Raptors played host to Golden State.

When he did play, Banton averaged 10.1 minutes.


Friday night was the night ex-Warrior Otto Porter Jr. should have received his championship ring. But Porter  didn’t make the trip with the Raptors following a season-ending foot injury … Canadian Andrew Wiggins missed Friday’s game because of a non-COVID illness and in fact missed both of Golden State’s matchups with the Raptors this season. Wiggins has followed up his championship run by averaging 17.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals.


The Raptors will experience the Dame Show when they play the host Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on Saturday night.

Lillard poured in 60 points Wednesday night in a 134-124 win over visiting Utah, one shy of his career high. He added eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

Lillard has posted four 60-point games during his career, tied for third most in league history with Michael Jordan and James Harden. Wilt Chamberlain leads the list with 32 followed by Kobe Bryant (6).

“I think any time you score 60 points it’s special, but I think this one I just felt like it came pretty simple,” said Lillard following the win.

Added head coach Chauncey Billups: “That was incredible. You don’t get to see that very often.”

When Portland visited Toronto earlier this month, Lillard scored 34 points in a 117-105 Raptors win.

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