Warriors star Stephen Curry to return from 11-game absence Saturday

Warriors star Stephen Curry to return from 11-game absence Saturday

Warriors star Stephen Curry to return from 11-game absence Saturday

Toronto came out the gate firing on all cylinders, shooting 16-for-22 (72.7 percent) from the field and 6-for-10 from deep to end the first quarter with a 38-25 lead over Golden State.

Curry has helped his MVP case during his absence.

The Warriors without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are hard to gauge, but any team that can survive Durant and Klay Thompson combining for 74 should feel good putting a feather in its cap afterward.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors received a curious letter from a young fan named Riley, just like his firstborn daughter, asking for the availability of his signature sneakers; the Under Armour Curry 5s, in women's sizes.

She talked to Teen Vogue about why she wrote the letter, and said that it wasn't just about her getting to wear the sneakers - she wanted all girls to have the same chance that boys do. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock sat courtside.

It was the first time Durant and Leonard met in a regular-season game since the 2016-17 season opener. The Spurs lost that game and Leonard for the series, and were eventually swept, causing many to wonder what might have been.

Leonard connected on his first six shots of the game and scored 13 points in the first quarter. Leonard had last faced the Warriors in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference finals, when he injured his ankle and left the floor with his San Antonio Spurs ahead by 21 points.

The Warriors game was the second in a tough stretch for the Raptors. A mesmerizing bit of back-and-forth passing between Kyle Lowry and Leonard befuddled the Warriors and ended in a bucket.

In what should've been Kawhi's night to bask in all on his own, some dude named Durant had other plans, matching Leonard's season-high and raising him a game-high in points while shoving an egregious 51 down the Raptors' throats and nearly single-handedly stealing one for the ailing Warriors, who were without Steph Curry and Draymond Green.

Leonard went into the game a ideal 6-for-6 in the regular season and playoffs against Golden State since the 2014-15 season, averaging 20.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game. That included a cold-blooded 32-foot three-point dagger to close the quarter that flipped a comfy Raps lead into an uneasy eight-point one. Durant seemingly had an answer for each run made by the Raptors and kept the Warriors within striking distance despite being shorthanded.

Golden State is now 0-2 in overtime contests this season.

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