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Raptors return to action, knock off short-handed Warriors

Sportsnaut
Dec 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) dribbles the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) dribbles the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) during the second half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes combined for 48 points Saturday night as the host Toronto Raptors took romped over the road-weary Golden State Warriors 119-100.

VanVleet posted game-highs in points with 27 and assists with 12, while Barnes put up a well-rounded 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Raptors returned to the court after Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls was postponed for COVID reasons.

The Warriors suited up just nine players for the finale of an eight-day, five-game trip that featured two back-to-backs, but COVID played only a small part in the shortened roster. Jordan Poole missed a second straight game after entering health and safety protocols during the trip.

A majority of the Warriors’ absences were due to coach Steve Kerr electing to send Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. home after Golden State’s third win in its first four games of the trip, a hard-fought 111-107 triumph at Boston on Friday night.

Making his first NBA start, rookie Jonathan Kuminga took advantage of the increased opportunity to pace Golden State with a season-best 26 points in 36 minutes.

The outcome was never in doubt after the Raptors, well rested following three days off, ran out to a 25-10 lead in the first 7 1/2 minutes. VanVleet had eight points, Chris Boucher seven and Barnes six during the early run-away.

The Warriors never seriously threatened en route to their third-lowest point total of the season.

VanVleet shot 6-for-10 on 3-pointers, and his 12 assists were his second-most this season, topped only by his 17 against the Bulls in October.

Boucher finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Precious Achiuwa chipped in with 17 points, Yuta Watanabe 12 and Gary Trent Jr. 10.

In winning for the third time in their last four games, the Raptors shot 50 percent, becoming the first Golden State opponent to hit at least half its shots in a game this season.

Kuminga’s point total was 17 more than he’d scored in any game previously.

Damion Lee added 14 points for the Warriors, who saw a three-game winning streak come to an end, while Gary Payton II had 13, Kevon Looney 12, Moses Moody 11 and Nemanja Bjelica 10.

Juan Toscano-Anderson collected a team-high 10 rebounds to complement nine points.

–Field Level Media