The Toronto Raptors crushed a depressed Golden State Warriors without their star Stephen Curry on Friday by 53 points (130-77), while Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 47 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Warriors, who came to lose by 61 points, skirted the worst defeat in franchise history, suffered in 1972 against the Los Angeles Lakers by 63 points (162-99).
Champions of the NBA in 2015, 2017 and 2018, the Warriors are going through a sports crisis that is accentuated on nights when Stephen Curry cannot take to the court.
After losing 11 of its last 15 games, Steve Kerr’s team has fallen to 10th in the Western conference, out of playoff spots.
His top scorer this Friday was Canadian Andrew Wiggins with 15 points while the other two regulars in the starting five, Kelly Oubre Jr. and rookie James Wiseman, stayed at 9.
The Raptors, 11th from the East, entered the game in another dismal moment of form after losing 13 of the previous 14 games.
Despite the absence of their leader Kyle Lowry, the Raptors offered an offensive recital against the weak Warriors led by Cameroonian power forward Pascal Siakam, with 36 points and 7 rebounds.
Stephen Curry, averaging 29.2 points per game, was booked for a dragging concussion to his tailbone while Draymond Green, part of the three-time NBA Warriores champions, was also out with a last-minute sprained finger.
“These things are part of the game,” Kerr stressed. “You have to look at the bench and the next player has to come out. Injuries are not an excuse”
– Mitchell leads Utah after plane scare –
Guard Donovan Mitchell led the West’s leading Utah Jazz to 113-106 over the Chicago Bulls on their return to the track after an incident with the team’s plane.
Mitchell missed Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies in Memphis after the Jazz flight had to make an emergency landing after colliding with a flock of birds after takeoff.
The 24-year-old All-Star guard declined to board another flight to Memphis on the same day.
“There was a point where you just felt like it could be the end … and it was out of your control,” Mitchell recounted Friday.
This Friday the guard scored 26 points and distributed 5 assists in the victory at home against the Bulls, the eighth followed by the Jazz, and confirmed that he will get back on the team plane for the next matches outside of Utah.
“I understand that (flying) is part of the job,” he stressed. “I took the time I needed to mentally put myself in a good place (…) Everyone has their things, mine turns out to be flying.”
– Dallas wins with Carlisle in quarantine –
Led by Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks beat the New York Knicks 99-86 without their coach, Rick Carlisle, who tested positive for covid-19 in the morning.
Carlisle, 61, stayed at the team’s hotel in New York for prevention pending the result of a complementary examination. The coach, one of the oldest in the league, was surprised by the positive result since he received a complete vaccination schedule in February.
The Mavericks asphyxiated the Knicks in defense and entrusted the Slovenian Doncic in attack, who finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
– Giannis shines with 47 points against Blazers –
With 47 points, the Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo equaled his highest score of the season on Friday in the victory of the Milwaukee Bucks 127-109 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The reigning MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the NBA also added 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in a victory that keeps the Bucks three wins behind the leaders of the East, the Brooklyn Nets.
For the Blazers, sixth in the West, their star Damian Lillard added 32 points and center Jusuf Nurkic another 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Results of Friday’s NBA matchday:
Toronto Raptors – Golden State Warriors 130-77
Boston Celtics – Houston Rockets 118-102
New York Knicks – Dallas Mavericks 86-99
Indiana Pacers – Charlotte Hornets 97-114
Memphis Grizzlies – Minnesota Timberwolves 120-108
New Orleans Pelicans – Atlanta Hawks 103-126
Utah Jazz – Chicago Bulls 113-106
Phoenix Suns – Oklahoma City Thunders 140-103
Portland Trail Blazers – Milwaukee Bucks 109-127
Sacramento Kings – LA Lakers 94-115