Warriors' injured star Steph Curry to return in Detroit

Toronto Raptors

In the first battle of the season between the best of the East and the cream of the West, the Raptors came out on top against defending champion Golden State Warriors, but needed overtime to pull it off. Thursday night Kawhi looked every bit of the elite two-way player that Toronto traded for, and he will be the team's go-to guy as the stakes continue to get higher.

Toronto luminaries dotted the audience for the matchup between the National Basketball Association powerhouses, from Drake to Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock. The Raptors coach wore a shiny royal blue suit jacket for Sager Strong night in honour late National Basketball Association sideline reporter Craig Sager, known for his colourful attire. Rookie NBA head coach Nick Nurse patrolled Toronto's sideline in a daring iridescent electric-blue sports coat.

The short-handed Warriors were also missing forwards Draymond Green (sprained right toe) and Alfonzo McKinnie (sore left foot), both of whom sat for the seventh straight game.

While Golden State is an extremely hard team to maintain a big lead against, it is becoming a concerning trend for Toronto to let teams back in, as Detroit, Orlando and Miami have all chipped away at big deficits to make things interesting down the stretch. The Spurs lost that game and Leonard for the series, and were eventually swept, causing many to wonder what might have been.

"I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5's because I'm starting a new basketball season".

Leonard, and Danny Green shared lots of insights with the Raps from their experiences in San Antonio taking on the Warriors.

The Raptors dominated so thoroughly in Thursday's first quarter, some scenes felt surreal. He had 13 points in the opening quarter to help the home team build a 38-25 lead. A mesmerizing bit of back-and-forth passing between Kyle Lowry and Leonard befuddled the Warriors and ended in a bucket. In 12 games this season, Curry is averaging 29.5 points, 6.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 51.5 per cent from the floor.

Durant, oozing cool confidence and craftiness, pumped in 18 points in the third quarter.

Klay Thompson added 23 points and has now scored 20-or-more points in 13 of the last 14 contests. Durant seemingly had an answer for each run made by the Raptors and kept the Warriors within striking distance despite being shorthanded.

The Raptors fly to Cleveland on Friday for a Saturday night meeting with the Cavaliers.

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