OAKLAND – Every NBA team that ever existed had its rock-bottom night, and the Warriors can only wish they experienced theirs on Tuesday.
And yet they came out of it with a victory.
Trailing sub-mediocre Toronto for most the night, the Warriors summoned a rally for the ages to earn a 112-103 win over the Raptors before a defibrillated sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
For the better part of three quarters, the Warriors were comprehensively atrocious, blatantly inferior in every way. Then came the late third quarter and the incredible fourth.
With Stephen Curry (game-high 27 points) leading the charge, the Warriors outscored the Raptors 48-15 over the final 14 minutes. They went from being outhustled, outshot and outrebounded to just plain out of their minds.
Klay Thompson finished with 22 points, Harrison Barnes with 19 and David Lee had 18.
STANDOUT PERFORMANCES: Curry did most of the heavy lifting, but the comeback was an inspired team effort, built on a suddenly spirited defense and a barrage of 3-pointers.
The effort of Draymond Green off the bench cannot go unnoticed. He finished with three points, five rebounds and two assists, but he was more valuable for his defense and unceasing energy.
TURNING POINT: Trailing by 24 (88-64) with 2:02 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 17-4 run, cutting it to 92-81. With 9:06 left in the game. They didn't stop there.
They then went on a 20-7 run, taking the lead on a Curry 3-pointer with three minutes to play. The Warriors buried the Raptors with fourth-quarter 3-pointers, including three by Thompson and two by Curry.
INJURY REPORT: Forward Andre Iguodala (left hamstring strain) and backup point guard Toney Douglas (stress reaction, left tibia) remain out. Douglas could return this weekend, while Iguodala is not expected until next week at the earliest. Centers Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) and Ognjen Kuzmic (right pinkie surgery) are out indefinitely.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors will practice the next two days at their downtown Oakland facility, then on Thursday fly to Houston for the first of three games on the road. The Warriors lost three of four to the Rockets last season and have lost 17 of their last 20 to Houston.