Kawhi (hip) out tonight vs. Warriors

Posted December 15, 2018

Toronto silenced many of its critics with Wednesday's decisive win over Golden State as 8-point underdogs, which leaves the club unbeaten over the first two outings of its four-game road trip going into Friday night's Raptors versus Trail Blazers betting matchup at Moda Center. Even little-used Greg Monroe was pressed into action after a nasty thumb injury to Jonas Valanciunas, and Monroe scored five points and pulled down five rebounds in seven minutes. Serge Ibaka had another strong night with 20 points and 12 rebounds, VanVleet put up 10 and three assists but saved his best work hassling Curry into a rare 10-point night. And 13 of the Warriors' 19 turnovers came from Durant (five), Curry (four) and Draymond Green (four). Some teams can outwork the Warriors when they meet in the regular season and occasionally outshoot them, but they nearly never tear the defending champs apart in such systematic fashion-least of all with their best player out of the lineup. We didn't let them (rest).

Leonard, who is dealing with hip injury, also missed Tuesday's win over the Clippers in Los Angeles.

But Leonard didn't want to answer the question as he simply said: "Not right now".

The Raptors improved their NBA-best record to 23-7.

Can the Warriors cover the 7-point spread? "Move it, swing it, play with some pace", Lowry said. "They had a tough one (Monday) night in Phoenix".

But if anything it was the Warriors that looked slow and out of rhythm while the Raptors seemed to pick up right where they left off from the Clippers game turning defence into offence and controlling the one from the opening tip. "We kept going, kept going, and I think that kind of helped us".

"I can't really explain it other than we're now in a place where we are defending a title", Kerr said. There are certain nights where you can just feel it; you don't have that energy. Toronto is only the second Eastern Conference team since 2014-15 to sweep Golden State. Lowry didn't flinch, trusting in the Raptors' designs as they developed rather than bailing out for panicky pick-and-rolls.