TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan had zero intention of losing to the Golden State Warriors for a second time this season.
DeRozan had one of his best games of the season as he scored 32 points to lead the Raptors past the Warriors 104-98 on Sunday afternoon, with the memory of Toronto giving up a 27-point lead to Golden State in December still lingering in his mind.
“It was a big win, big win against a great Western Conference team,” DeRozan said. “Especially with the way we lost at their place. The way that we lost was definitely tough, we understood that coming into tonight so it was definitely a big win.”
Acknowledging that the December loss was something Raptors players had thought about coming into Sunday’s contest, DeRozan downplayed his own stellar offensive output.
“I just got out and played, to be honest,” DeRozan said. “Just try to go out there and play to win. I understand that every game we go out and play, how important it is and everybody in this locker-room really wants to make the playoffs so I’m just going out there doing whatever I can.”
DeRozan did more than just play on Sunday afternoon.
He won the efficiency battle against Stephen Curry to give Toronto its first victory against the Warriors with Golden State’s all-star guard in the lineup.
While Curry finished with 34 points on 13-for-27 shooting, DeRozan put in an all-star performance, scoring his 32 points on 10-for-16 shooting from the floor and 11-for-12 from the line. He also recorded four rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Kyle Lowry added 13 points and eight assists for Toronto (33-26), while Patrick Patterson had 12 points and five rebounds.
Curry’s 34 points for Golden State (36-24) were a game-high. David Lee added 20 points and 11 rebounds.
While DeRozan was quiet about his own big night, he was effusive in his praise of his point guard.
“Whatever I say about Kyle is an understatement,” DeRozan said. “We go off him to be honest, man. We just ride off him, that’s a hell of a player right there. He’s there reason why I’m getting 30 points.”
Golden State went ahead by five points early in the fourth quarter before the Raptors reeled off an 11-0 run to take a 92-86 lead with less than six minutes remaining.
Toronto’s fourth quarter scoring attack was led by DeRozan who scored 12 of his 32 in the quarter.
“We just lost our composure on the offensive end a little bit and didn’t play solid enough on the other end in the last five minutes,” Curry said. “We had a five-point lead with eight minutes left, they went on an 11-0 run and we didn’t have an answer for it.”
The game was close throughout, with Toronto holding a five-point lead at halftime. Things remained tight in the third with Curry scoring 14 in the quarter.
The Warriors took a three-point advantage into the final quarter, ahead 78-75.