With tonight's 113-93 win, the Toronto Raptors have swept their season series against the reigning champion-Golden State Warriors. If these teams meet again, it will have to be in the NBA Finals.
Here are your takeaways from tonight's game...
No Kawhi, no problem... again
With Kawhi Leonard missing his second consecutive game on this West Coast road trip, the Raptors had no problem taking care of the Warriors. In fact, in the eight games that Kawhi has missed due to either rest or injury, the Raptors are 7-1.
Of the seven wins without Leonard, six of them have been in double figures with all of them coming on the road.
This is by no means to discount how valuable Kawhi is to this team, but more so giving credit to the rest of the roster for stepping up in his absence. It's a promising sign for situations to come to the rest of this season when Leonard sits out on one-half of back-to-backs, knowing that it does not put the Raptors at as much of a disadvantage as it may seem on paper.
Lowry's back to form
After a brutal five-game stretch, Kyle Lowry has strung together two solid games in two wins for the Raptors.
He got it done on both ends of the floor tonight, stepping up in the absence of Kawhi Leonard in a big way. Lowry scored a team-high 23 points on 18 shots to go with a game-high 12 assists. Lowry played a huge role in locking up Stephen Curry, holding him to a season-low 10 points, while also coming up with three steals on his way to a game-best plus-23 plus-minus.
Over the past two wins, he's shooting 17-for-31 from the field (54.8 percent) and 6-for-15 from three (40.0 percent), a major improvement from the 19.0 percent from the field and 15.6 percent from three from the previous five games before that.
The Raptors are a perfect 9-0 when Lowry scores 20 or more points and are 8-1 when he records 12 or more assists. Leonard might be the most valuable player on the Raptors, but Lowry is without a doubt the motor that keeps this team running.
Warriors' stagnant offence
This was a game to forget for the Golden State Warriors as a whole, but especially on the offensive end.
It was just the fifth time this season they have been held under 100 points - they have lost all five of those contests. The team's 23.1 percent from beyond the arc (6-for-26) was the second-worst they've shot all season long and their 13 free throw attempts were the third-lowest amount of attempts this season as well.
Golden State struggled to knock down outside shots and wasn't getting to the line, all while being outscored 58-40 in the paint.
The Raptors held Stephen Curry to a season-low 10 points (tied with the game vs. Milwaukee that he left with an injury in the third quarter) and held Klay Thompson to 14 points, forcing the 'Splash Brothers' to shoot a combined 2-for-13 from long range. Toronto's defence suffocated the Warriors, forcing them to turn the ball over 19 times and contested the majority of the Warriors' outside shots but remained stout in the paint without fouling.
Outside of Kevin Durant's performance, the Raptors' defence put Golden State right where they wanted them all game long, leading by as much as 26 while never surrendering the lead after the 9:38 mark in the first quarter.
Ending a 13-game losing streak at Golden State
Going into tonight's game the Raptors were on a 13-game losing streak at Golden State. The last time the Raptors won on the road versus the Warriors was in 2004 when Vince Carter and Jalen Rose were still members of the Raptors and Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston had yet to make their NBA debuts. Tonight's 20-point win snapped that streak, adding to their NBA-best 12-3 road record.
After the game, Durant had high praise for this Toronto team that was able to come into Oracle and win:
Strong Kevin Durant quote on the Raptors: "They're not an up-and-coming team. They here." pic.twitter.com/935IJ2i3zn- Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 13, 2018
The Raptors went 4-0 on their last West Coast road trip and after defeating the LA Clippers and Warriors, they are guaranteed to go at least .500 on this West Coast road trip. They take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, followed by a potential revenge game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday to conclude their final West Coast roadstand of the season.