VanVleet has 27, Raptors rout short-handed Warriors 119-100

December 19, 2021 GMT
Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) drives at Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) drives at Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) drives at Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) drives at Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) drives at Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Fred VanVleet had 27 points and 12 assists, Scottie Barnes scored 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Golden State Warriors 119-100 Saturday night.

Precious Achiuwa scored 17 points and Yuta Watanabe had 12 for the Raptors, who never trailed. Toronto has won five of seven.

VanVleet shot 6 for 10 from 3-point range, matching his season high for made 3s. He finished with seven rebounds, narrowly missing his first triple-double.

“Being the shortest guy on the court doesn’t really help in terms of chasing rebounds,” VanVleet said. “At some point I’ll get there, but tonight was definitely not going to be that night for me.”

Golden State was without Steph Curry (rest), Draymond Green (right hip), Andre Iguodala (right knee), Otto Porter Jr. (left foot) and Andrew Wiggins (left knee). The five returned to California after Friday’s win in Boston rather than risking COVID-19 exposure, and a potential quarantine, in Canada.

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Jonathan Kuminga scored a career-high 26 points and Damion Lee had 14 as Golden State lost for the first time in four games. The Warriors came in with the NBA’s best record at 24-5 but lost the finale of a five-game Eastern Conference road trip in which they went 3-2.

“I thought we played a lot better in the second half, competed better,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “In the first half, we were on our heels and didn’t have a lot of juice and confidence.”

Toronto shot 45 for 90, becoming the first Warriors’ opponent this season to shoot at least 50% from the field. Golden State had gone 31 games without allowing an opponent to shoot 50%.

Golden State was also without guard Jordan Poole, who is in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.

About an hour before tipoff, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam and guard Dalano Banton entered the health and safety protocol.

“There’s a heck of a lot of testing going on right now,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said folowing the game.

Raptors forward OG Anunoby returned to the starting lineup after missing 13 games because of a sore left hip. Anunoby scored seven points in 28 minutes.

“I thought he looked really good, and that’s a good sign,” Nurse said.

The Warriors visited Toronto for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, but recent Ontario government COVID-19 restrictions limited capacity to 50%. Attendance was 7,988.

“The whole game certainly had less buzz to it,” Nurse said.

Achiuwa said it was “really, really strange” to see so few fans in the building after crowds of 19,000-plus at all 15 previous home games this season.

Toronto led 31-18 after one quarter and boosted its advantage thanks to 12 points from VanVleet in the second. VanVleet had 20 points and 10 assists in the first half as the Raptors led 63-42 at the intermission.

The Raptors led 96-96 through three quarters.

KERR ON KUMINGA

Kerr noted that Kuminga had six turnovers and just one rebound in 36 minutes.

“He’s got to get more than one rebound in 36 minutes, especially with that kind of athletic ability,” Kerr said. “He kind of showed how talented he is, how young he is, how high the ceiling is, and how far he has to go, all in one night.”

SAFETY FIRST

With COVID cases spiking, Nurse said he might skip some practice sessions to give players more time apart between games. Toronto will not practice Sunday.

“We’ve got to be as safe as we can,” Nurse said. “I’m probably leaning towards not gathering nearly as much as I would like to.”

TIP-INS

Warriors: Scored a season-low 42 points in the first half. The Warriors had 44 in the first half of a Nov. 28 road win over the Clippers. ... Shot 4 for 17 from 3-point range in the first half.

Raptors: C Khem Birch (right knee) was out. ... VanVleet’s 10 assists in the first half matched Golden State’s team total in the opening two quarters. His career high is 17, set Oct. 25 against Chicago. ... Achiuwa returned after missing four games because of a sore right shoulder. Achiuwa was also in the health and safety protocol the past two games.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Host Sacramento on Monday.

Raptors: Host Orlando on Monday.

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