‘Worst’ Travel Issue Makes Shorthanded Warriors’ 8th Road Win More Satisfying

Warriors star Stephen Curry celebrates a shot

Getty Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Toronto Raptors.

Nothing can’t seem to stop the surging Golden State Warriors. Not even a mechanical problem that left them stuck in the airport overnight.

The Warriors overcame a sluggish start brought by a long-delayed flight from New York to Toronto to beat the Raptors 120-105 on Friday, March 1, on the second night of a back-to-back schedule for their eighth straight road win.

“Last night was brutal,” Kerr told reporters. “That’s the worst travel circumstances I’ve ever been involved with in the NBA.”

“I think we got in bed at eight o’clock this morning. The guys slept during the day, woke up and came to the game. So it was pretty rough. But I’m proud of the group for the way they competed, like I said after that slow start — which was understandable — we really locked in and did a good job.”

Stephen Curry led the shorthanded Warriors with 25 points while Jonathan Kuminga continued to grow into a rising star with 24 points.

Canadian Andrew Wiggins missed his third straight game for the Warriors due to personal reasons while rookie starter Brandin Podziemski sustained a right knee soreness in their 110-99 victory against the Knicks the previous night.

Undermanned and with tired legs, the Warriors trailed by nine points in the first quarter. But they slowly chipped away the Raptors lead. They got their bearings back in the pivotal third quarter where they wrested control of the game by outscoring the Raptors 32-19.

Curry and Klay Thompson, who returned to the starting lineup for Podziemski, combined for 17 points in their searing third-quarter run.

“It was obviously a roller coaster of a night, but we wanted to maintain the momentum we’ve been building,” said Curry, who announced earlier on Friday that he is expecting his fourth child with his wife, Ayesha.

‘We’re a Resilient Team’

Draymond Green, who anchored the Warriors’ defense with 13 rebounds, 6 points, 5 assists and 2 blocks, said the gut-wrenching win says a lot about their team.

“We’re a resilient team,” Green told reporters. “We’ve been through the storm already this year. So to play the game we played says a lot about the group. I had no doubt that we would play the game we played.”

The Warriors improved to 14-6 since Green returned from his second suspension of the season. They are now just three games outside the top six in the West after winning 11 of their last 13 games.

The travel issues just made the win more satisfying for the Warriors.

“[It’s] fun,” Green said. “No sleep, few hours of sleep but we got two wins in the last 24 hours. That’s always great!”

The Warriors will cap their four-game road trip in Boston against the league’s best Celtics on Sunday, March 3.

Andrew Wiggins Out Indefinitely

There is still no timetable for Wiggins’ return as The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed the reason behind his abrupt but excused absence from the team.

“I’m told Andrew Wiggins is dealing and tending to a serious family matter right now, and the Warriors are giving him his space, they’re giving him his time,” Charania reported on “Run It Back” on FanDuel TV on March 1. “The expectation is, Steve Kerr spoke about this, Andrew Wiggins will be returning at some point of this season. They’re optimistic about that. But they also understand he’s going through this process. We certainly wish him, and his family, the best as he deals with it.”