Raptors give Stephen Curry, Warriors their own ‘Strength in Numbers’ treatment

first_img Toronto also got 17 points off the bench from Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet, who hit a rainbow 3-pointer to shut down any thoughts of a Warriors comeback. MORE: Takeaways from Raptors’ Game 3 win over WarriorsBut the Raptors showed Golden State that it isn’t immune to the “Strength in Numbers” treatment. The cavalry never came for Curry, and Toronto captured a 2-1 series lead with a 123-109 victory.With Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney all out and DeMarcus Cousins clearly not at 100 percent, Curry found himself in the unfamiliar position of a star without support. He performed admirably, but there is a reason a guy like Kemba Walker hits the same ceiling every year.No one can do it alone.Game 3 statsCurryRest of WarriorsPoints4762FG-FGA14-31 (45.2%)22-60 (36.6%)3PT FG-3PT FGA6-14 (42.9%)6-22 (27.3%)FT-FTA13-14 (92.9%)12-16 (75.0%)Assists718Turnovers311The Raptors, meanwhile, had each member of their starting five score at least 17 points, including a team-high 30 points from Kawhi Leonard. That came as no surprise.The real difference, though, was a combined 11-of-19 3-point night from the backcourt of Kyle Lowry and Danny Green. They both stifled potential Golden State runs with timely shooting. Stephen Curry walked onto the Oracle Arena floor Wednesday night for Game 3 as a lone gunslinger trying to defend his territory from the invading Raptors. Each time it appeared Toronto had overwhelmed the Warriors, Curry would fire back to keep Golden State within reach. It was a valiant effort by Curry, who finished with a playoff career-high 47 points (14-of-31 shooting from the field, 6 of 14 from 3-point range), plus a team-high eight rebounds and seven assists. He scored or assisted on nine of the Warriors’ first 10 buckets and never let up from there in 43 incredible minutes. Shooting splits of 52.4/44.7/95.2? Only one miss on 21 attempts from the free-throw line? Assisting on more than 70 percent of their field goals?Pick a random Warriors box score from 2014 through this season, and those numbers might pop up. Game 3 was about the Raptors flipping the “Strength in Numbers” formula back on Golden State and wearing down the Warriors in a game Toronto couldn’t afford to lose. On this night, Curry was in Walker’s shoes. He was LeBron James in the 2015 NBA Finals, except instead of Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert, Curry had Quinn Cook and Shaun Livingston.It’s fun to watch the gunslinger go it alone. The Raptors weren’t handed this win — Curry made them earn it.Unfortunately for the Warriors, “Strength in Numbers” worked against them this time. The gunslinger story only ends one way.last_img

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