It took awhile -- longer than it probably should have -- but Golden State pulled away late to start its seven-game home stand with a 125-118 win against Toronto at Oracle Arena.
David Lee, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson all scored at least 20 points and the team snapped its four-game losing streak with center Andrew Bogut back in the lineup.
After missing the last six games due to a protruding disk in his back, there would be no easing Bogut back in. He began as a game-time decision, but played a season-high 31 minutes, showing no obvious ill effects from the injury.
It wasn’t a stat-heavy night for Bogut, but his presence in the lineup was certainly felt. He finished with just four points and eight rebounds, but altered several shots inside and provided a physical element the team has lacked.
Harrison Barnes knocked down a wide-open three to give the Warriors a 103-100 lead with five minutes, 39 seconds left and Thompson hit a pair of free throws two minutes later to extend the lead to five.
From there, the Warriors (34-27) were in control.
A 19-foot jumper from Curry and a pair of free throws from Lee made it 109-100 with 3:03 left and Toronto would not recover.
The Raptors (23-38), whose losing streak hit five, went without a field goal from the 6:11 mark until DeMar DeRozan finished a layup with 57 seconds left.
Lee finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. It was his league-leading 22nd 20-point, 10-rebound game of the year.
Thompson had 22 points in 28 minutes before fouling out and was responsible for reviving the Warriors after a dismal third quarter. He scored eight points in the first two minutes of the fourth as the Warriors erased a seven-point deficit. He was 4-of-5 from deep and 8-of-11 from the field in the game.
After exiting at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter, Bogut spent the next several minutes sitting or laying down near the baseline. It became apparent coach Mark Jackson wasn’t going to limit his minutes when Bogut retuned with 9:35 left in the second quarter and played for an extended stretch.
He played 15 minutes in the first half and finished an alley-oop after a lob from Curry to put the Warriors up 62-50 with just under a minute to play.
That lead quickly disappeared.
Toronto scored the game’s next 14 points before a jumper from Jarrett Jack ended the Warriors’ drought with 8:15 left in the third quarter. Jack’s bucket started an 11-2 run for Golden State, but, again, the lead vanished in a hurry.
The Raptors went on a 17-4 run over the next 3:35, outscored the Warriors 36-21 in the quarter and took a 90-83 lead into the fourth.
Andrea Barnani, who didn’t take part in the morning shootaround, scored a season-high 26 points for Toronto. Rudy Gay also had 26 and Amir Johnson added 23.
Home Court Advantage?
Fair to expect the Warriors’ recent fortunes to change with 15 of the next 21 at Oracle Arena, right?
Despite having a 19-7 record in the building, it’s not that simple for Mark Jackson.
“At the end of the day, we have to play our brand of basketball. When we do that, it doesn’t matter where we are or who we play,” he said. “If we play the way we have been playing, we won’t beat teams at home.”
Primarily because of how careless the team has been with the ball -- points off turnovers plagued the Warriors’ recent five-game road trip.
Opposing teams averaged 23.2 points per game off turnovers on the trip, to just 15.8 for Golden State. And considering the team was just 1-4 and lost by an average of 5.8 points per game while away, it’s easy point to the discrepancy as an obvious flaw.
“One guy makes one and says ‘My bad’ and two plays later another guy makes a careless play -- it’s hurt us,” Jackson said. “Individually, we have to take responsibility of handling the basketball. It has certainly given the opposition life.”
There wasn’t much improvement against Toronto. Golden State committed fewer turnovers (14), but they still led to 22 points for the Raptors.
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Next up – Sacramento
Golden State will look for its first win in three tries against Sacramento this season on Wednesday, when it hosts the Kings at 7:30 p.m. Sacramento pulled out two close games at home, but the teams haven’t played since Dec. 19.
The Kings (21-40) have won two of three since snapping a six-game losing streak, but first host Denver on Tuesday. Golden State has won the last two games against Sacramento at home. The final game of the season series is March 27 in Oakland.
Bucks 109, Jazz 108: Monta Ellis scored 34 points to lead Milwaukee past Utah (32-28) in overtime. The Jazz started the day a half-game behind Golden State, in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings. … Nuggets 104, Hawks 88: Denver improved to 26-3 at home and remains five games ahead of Golden State. … Trail Blazers 122, Bobcats 105: Seven players scored in double figures for Portland. … The Rockets and Lakers were both idle.