The first game of the 2016 NBA preseason schedule was played Saturday night, with the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors facing the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver. The game was Kevin Durant’s Golden State debut, and there will be an adjustment period for both he and his new teammates. Durant, who like the other four starters did not play in the second half, scored nine points on 2-for-9 shooting from the field while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 16 points but it wasnt enough, as Toronto took a two-point lead into the half and held on to win by the final score of 97-93. DeMarre Carroll led the Raptors offensively with 14 points, with DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross adding 11 apiece. The game was a bit ragged, as one would expect from a preseason opener, with the two teams combining to turn the ball over 44 times (23 for Toronto).
Below is a quarter by quarter summary of the exhibition, with some highlights added in as well.
First Quarter: Warriors Take Two-Point Lead After One
Both teams got off to slow starts offensively, with the Warriors finishing the quarter with a 22-20 lead. Kevin Durant got the first shot of the game for the Warriors, missing short on a fadeaway from about 15 feet out on the right elbow. Durant was booed by the crowd whenever he touched the basketball. Klay Thompson scored the first points of a game with a three-pointer, and he shot 3-for-4 from deep in scoring a team-high nine points.
Stephen Curry added five points and Andre Iguodala three, with Durant scoring two points on 1-for-6 shooting. Durant’s first quarter points were scored on a breakaway dunk.
For Toronto, Jared Sullinger, DeMar DeRozan and Cory Joseph scored four points apiece to lead the way. Kyle Lowry scored three points, and Terrence Ross two in the first stanza. Toronto shot just 7-for-22 from the field, with the Warriors making eight of their 22 field goal attempts in the quarter.
Second Quarter: Ross’ Hot Quarter Gives Raptors a Two-Point Halftime Lead
After scoring two points in the first quarter Raptors sixth man Terrence Ross scored nine in the second, with Toronto taking a 53-51 lead into the locker room. Ross shot 5-for-7 from the field in the first half, playing with a level of efficiency that the Raptors will need to see from him on a consistent basis if they’re to challenge Cleveland in the East this season.
Ross led all Raptors in scoring for the half, with DeRozan adding nine points and Carroll and Sullinger seven apiece. Rookie Fred VanVleet accounted for five points and one assist in the second quarter.
The Warriors’ Klay Thompson led all scorers with 16 points, and after getting off to a slow start in the first quarter Kevin Durant scored seven points in the second stanza. Durant helped himself by getting to the foul line, where he made all four of his attempts. He shot 2-for-9 from the field. Stephen Curry added eight points in the half, shooting 2-for-6 from the field (1-for-5 3PT) and 3-for-5 from the foul line.
Third Quarter: Raptors Maintain Two-Point Advantage
The two teams began the second half with vastly different lineups. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey had his starters (Lowry, DeRozan, Carroll, Sullinger and Jonas Valanciunas) on the court to start the third quarter with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr opting to go deep into his bench. But the game remained tight, with Golden State’s three-point shooting keeping them within striking distance as Toronto held a 78-76 lead after three.
Through three quarters the Warriors shot 12-for-29 from three, with Toronto shooting 5-for-17. One of the Raptors’ three-pointers came on a Cory Joseph heave from just inside of half court as time expired to end the third quarter. Through three quarters Carroll led the Raptors with 14 points, with DeRozan and Ross having 11 apiece and Joseph nine.
Klay Thompson still leads all scorers with 16 points, and he (along with Curry, Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia) did not played at all in the third quarter.
Fourth Quarter: Siakam Makes an Early Statement
After two outstanding seasons at New Mexico State, forward Pascal Siakam made the decision to forego his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2016 NBA Draft. Toronto grabbed him with the second of their two first-round picks, and the 6-foot-9 Siakam made a solid first impression as the Raptors took care of the Warriors.
Siakam, who saw his first action of the game in the opening quarter, finished with nine points and eight rebounds with four of those boards being of the offensive variety. Siakam’s a highly active forward, and against the Warriors not only did he attack the boards on both ends but he also ran the floor well. With the Raptors still waiting for Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo to show signs of getting more comfortable with the NBA game, Siakam and fellow rookie Jakob Poeltl (four points, five rebounds) have the opportunity to surpass them on the back end of Toronto’s rotation.
For the Warriors it was rookie wing Patrick McCaw who led the way offensively in the second half, as he took advantage of the extended minutes by scoring 11 points. Ian Clark added eight points and Cameron Jones seven for Golden State.
Hield, Moore Lead Pelicans in Saturday’s Other Preseason Game
The Warriors and Raptors weren’t the only NBA teams in action Saturday night, as the New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks played in Bossier City, Louisiana. With Jrue Holiday away from the team to care for his wife and Tyreke Evans still rehabbing his knee after undergoing surgery in February, Alvin Gentry will need other guards to step up for the Pelicans this season.
With that being the case the play of newcomers E’Twaun Moore and Buddy Hield in their 116-102 win over the Mavericks is a positive sign despite it being the preseason opener. Moore and Hield scored 19 points apiece for New Orleans, which as a team shot 57.3 percent from the field. Hield, who made eight of his 12 field goal attempts, was picked sixth overall by New Orleans in June’s NBA Draft. He also accounted for six rebounds and three assists.
Tim Frazier added ten points, six rebounds and nine assists for New Orleans, with Lance Stephenson also scoring ten points. Anthony Davis, whose 2015-16 season was cut short by a left knee injury, tallied 13 points in 12 minutes of action. Justin Anderson led Dallas with 14 points while also grabbing five rebounds, and Nicolas Brussino added 13. Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry, both making their Mavericks debuts, scored 12 points apiece.
Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and Devin Harris all sat out the game for the Mavericks, with Nowitzki and Matthews being rested by head coach Rick Carlisle and Harris still recovering from offseason toe surgery.