Raptors came in off a game that never should have went to overtime. The extra work was going to make this one an even tougher task. Warriors have the awful record they do for a reason. Just 5-31 on the road this season heading into this game. However the Warriors do 2 things well....Run and shoot the 3 ball. The one thing the Raptors have struggled to do for the majority of the season is defend the 3 point shot. It is why the Warriors crushed the Raptors in Oakland and it would play a big factor in this game allowing the Warriors to build a lead. In total the Warriors would end the night 13 of 26 from behind the arc and the younger Curry making 5 of 11. He would end up having a big night as would Chris Bosh. However Curry had a lot of help and Bosh didn't. Especially early as the Warriors blitzed the Raptors to take a 37-24 1st quarter lead.
Bosh would lead a furious charge back. They say one man is not an island and even thought at times in the NBA that theory can be challenged by a Lebron or Kobe. Most nights guys need at least some help. Raptors as a team shot 39.1% which is horrible. However now let's take away what was an 11-19 performance by Bosh en route to a 42 point and 12 rebound effort. That leaves the Raptors 23 of 73 on the game for a pathetic 31.5%. which is even worse. That being said the Raptors fought hard and out scored the Warriors 30-20 in the second quarter to trail by just a 57-54 margin at the half.
The Warriors would answer the challenge lead by their rookie point guard along with Corey Maggette who had a team high 31 and Anthony Morrow. The 3 players combined 85 points of the Warriors eventually finishing total. Curry ended the night with a monster line and some other things involving a line will get to in a minute. But first the impressive final tallies for young Curry. He had 29 points, 12 dimes, 8 rebounds...just 2 shy of the Triple Double. If that is not enough how about 3 steals and 2 blocks as well.
The Raptors would be down 9 heading to the 3rd. However Chris Bosh was determined to not have his team lose. He drove like a demon and was rewarded with 23 trips to the line and he made 20 of them. This game in the end would come down to Curry and Bosh again. First when all hope looked lost..Curry would miss free throws to allow the Raptors to keep hope alive. Even with less than 3 seconds to go hope was not dead. Sonny Weems who did not enjoy the offensive success he had in the Sixers game, was able to save a ball and get it right into the hands of Bosh. Time was running down and Chris may have rushed the shot a little but it didn't fall and Bosh would hit the ground in pure agony. He played 41 minutes and averaged better that a point a minute what more can you do? Make that shot to make it 44 comes to mind. However this 113-112 loss is on the players around Bosh. Chris admitted in the post game that this loss given everything that goes into it will sting a little more than others.
Before I get to what Bosh said I want to say something. Chris Bosh regardless of what happens in Toronto with his free agency has earned my respect. I guess what sparks me to say this is Lebron James who after his team lost to Boston today. King James had decided to go watch the Yankees play against Red Sox to kick off the MLB season. Yeah, with his Yankees hat of course. Enough with the games already. The red shoes the Yankee hats and all. I am convinced the more James does this, the more he is likely NOT to become a Knick. Bosh has played no such games with his intentions. Leborn is going to be the MVP, He also has said he wants to win a title in Cleveland. The only people as mad as Knick fans next season when they don't land Lebron is the Cleveland Indians. They have the biggest star in their town cheering for the Yankees, is it just me or is something that seems wrong about that. Bosh made it to a Blue Jay game once and is likely the only close to 7 foot guy to throw out a first pitch. Bosh has handled the issue with class about 2010. Lebron has while not letting it impact him on the floor, off of it this all seems a big game to Lebron. Ironically the guy dropping the most hints about leaving is for me the least likely to move. O.K end of rant.
Back to Bosh and his thoughts on that miss to close the game...." Sonny made a fantastic play. Everything else just happened so fast, I really didn't have time to react. I just wanted to get a shot off. I guess I missed it. I didn't really get a good look at how it came off...it is a tough break"
Bosh was unclear on if Ronny Turiaf was able to get a piece of his shot. This Raptor team has lost a lot of close games and likely speaks to why they are battling for their playoff lives. Kobe Buzzer beater and Mello had one as well, those are 2 that jump out of my head at first thought. However, Bosh who I have always said is one of the more slick individuals when it comes to answering questions even admitted this one was especially painful. Bosh said the following " We have had some games where we have had some tough breaks. But this one stings a little bit. Given our situation and how we need every game. To have it come down to the wire like that. But that is what I love about the game. It is always different. But I am sure will get a chance next time".
Raptors are clearly running out of next times though, sitting only a game in front of the idle Bulls. Bosh has made it clear that he likes being the man and wants to be a franchise player in the past. Even Lebron James does not always come through as he failed to get the Cavs a win earlier in the day over Boston. The head that wears the crown for any team, be it King James or CB4 is a heavy burden. When you score 42 points and have the story be about the 2 that you never got at the end, that can be hard to deal with. Such is life when you are the guy that is tagged with the label of "Franchise Player".
Jarret Jack pointed out the fact that a few of the guys on this team including himself have never made the post season. Guys like him and Sonny and Demar. he said they were learning on the fly. When the tough sked that lies ahead for the next 3 games was mentioned, Jack said that this team had to take on everybody regardless and they are ready to put up a dog fight and are not afraid of anybody. He may not be, but it is safe to say based on this fan base's attitude, that most fear the Cavs and King James. That is what is up next and could be a playoff preview. However if the Raptors have any more disappointments, it may not be a preview of anything. Triano after the game just remarked on how the team shot the ball in a way that is out of character at rate below 40%. He didn't seem concerned about his team's effort or defense. I would suggest he should be about his defense. When you face a team that you know is going to shoot 3's and allow them to make 50% of them something is wrong.
Tonight reminded me of some games early in the season where Bosh played out of his mind, only to see the team around him crumble and not rally behind his great performance. Back then nights like that concerned me for Bosh's future here in Toronto. Now this late in the year, they give me cold sweats. I firmly believe this team to be successful needs Bosh to remain. Not just in the basketball sense but in the marketing sense. To have yet another star walk away and be forced into yet another re-construction is just not anything to look forward to with any really sense of hope. If this team does not at least make the post season the chances to keep Chris Bosh you have to figure go down to almost 0. Nights like tonight do not help matters.
Bosh in a lot of ways must feel like a man on an island. In part because he was not able to close the deal in this game. But also because his team around him did not exactly help him offensively and of course because of the decision that lies ahead for him. Chris Bosh if you ask him will tell you he focused on winning and getting this team to the post season. I have no doubt that is true. I also have no doubt that the thoughts I have just as an observer have entered his own mind as well. He would not be human if they hadn't. It can be lonely at the top and on a night like tonight, very lonely.
Raptors have till Tuesday to pick up the pieces before facing the near impossible task of beating the Cavs at home. Which as I touched on they will not be in a good mood after a loss to the Celtics. In addition likely want to sent a clear and direct message to a team that they very well could face in round 1. This game could be a true classic or an ugly beat down. In the end the Raptors will have a large say in which it is.