Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said Thursday he was "disappointed for our fans that want to see those guys (star Warriors big man Draymond Green also was out due to an injury)". "So when he's feeling it, there's not a whole lot a defense can do". The nine-time National Basketball Association all-star scored the Warriors' final 13 points of the quarter, including a three-pointer from the mid-court logo at the buzzer that sliced Toronto's lead to 96-88, and set up an edge-of-your-seats final frame.
After Danny Green (13 points) sank a three-pointer with 2:05 left in overtime, the Raptors never relinquished the lead.
While the Warriors lost, Twitter heaped a lot of praise onto Durant.
"There's going to be some games where we've got a great team game going, we can beat people with our offence from moving our bodies, moving the ball and there's going to be some games where I've got to go and get buckets", he said.
Curry had worked out earlier Thursday, but the team said he'd make his comeback Friday in Detroit instead.
With Thursday night's win, the Raptors advanced to 14-1 on the season when leading after the first quarter, emphasizing the importance of starting games off strong.
Look for the Warriors to counter with Kevon Looney, who is a very good perimeter defender and a good rebounder. The Raptors (18-4) boast the best record in the league and will put their six-game win streak on the line against Golden State.
Jonas Valanciunas led the way off the bench with 12 points in 16 minutes.
It should be noted that the other team competing on this night has been periodically resting its own superstar even though he doesn't now have anything wrong with him, simply because he was hurt most of last season and they want to avoid a repeat.
Durant accounted for Golden State's first four points during the OT period, but Golden State was never able to pull ahead. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock sat courtside.
Curry, who has not played since November 8 (Nov. 9, PHL time) after injuring his groin in a home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, returned to practice earlier this week.
Kerr, who dressed more conservatively, said Nurse "definitely nailed" his colorful coat. In fact, it was arguably the best game of the 2018-19 regular season so far.
Toronto survived the first half of their back-to-back against last year's NBA Finals contestants.
The Warriors have been the NBA's gold standard over the last number of years.