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Curry powers Warriors past Raptors 120-105; Toronto loses all-star Barnes to injury

TORONTO — Stephen Curry had 25 points on seven three-pointers to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Raptors 120-105 on Friday as Toronto lost all-star Scottie Barnes to injury.

Curry also had six rebounds and six assists as Golden State (32-27) won its third straight.

Jonathan Kuminga had 24 points and Moses Moody added 17 for the Warriors.

RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., had 23 points for Toronto (22-38), with four assists and three rebounds.

Raptors centres Jakob Poeltl and Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., both had double-doubles. Poeltl had 10 points and matched a season-best 14 rebounds, while Olynyk had 16 points and 10 boards off the bench.

Barnes did not return to the court after intermission with an injured left hand. He had 10 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes of play before his night ended.

The sold-out Scotiabank Arena crowd of 19,800 gave a small cheer when Curry hit his first three of the game about half way through the first quarter. It was his first game in Toronto since the 2019 NBA Finals when the Raptors beat the Warriors in six games.

Although Toronto led by as many as nine points in the opening period, the Warriors closed that gap to trail 31-28 by the end of the first. Barrett and Curry led all scorers with nine points apiece after one quarter.

Curry and Kuminga combined for six points in the final 1:11 of the second quarter as Toronto held a 64-61 lead heading into intermission.

Curry drilled a three-pointer just two minutes into the third quarter to tie the game 66-66. Raptors backup centre Olynyk answered back with a tip shot, but then Klay Thompson hit a corner three with 9:02 left in the third, his first points of the game, as Golden State held a lead for the first time since the game's opening bucket.

Barnes didn't come out after intermission and his absence was clearly felt. Golden State reeled off a 12-2 run shortly after the Raptors announced that the all-star forward would not return in the game for a 10-point lead.

Toronto rookie Gradey Dick caught an alley-oop from D.J. Carton for a 180-degree dunk with 35.1 seconds to play in the third, cutting the Warriors' lead down to 93-83. Curry had nine points in the third — all on three-pointers — as Golden State outscored the hosts 32-19 in the quarter.

Curry missed the first five minutes of the fourth as Warriors head coach Steve Kerr allowed his bench to maintain his team's lead. Curry got another warm welcome from Raptors fans as he returned to the court.

He added two points in that limited time as Golden State led by as much as 16 points in the fourth.

FREEMAN-LIBERTY CONVERTED — Guard Javon Freeman-Liberty had his deal with the Toronto Raptors converted to a standard NBA contract an hour before game time. He's averaged a team-high 24 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 35.5 minutes with the Raptors 905, Toronto's G League affiliate.

UP NEXT — The Raptors host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Golden State continues its East Coast swing with a stop in Boston against the Celtics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2024.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press