Warriors return home to face Raptors

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors return home from a four-game road trip Tuesday night to welcome the Toronto Raptors, who embark on a west- coast trip at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors head back to the Bay Area 2-2 on a recent sojourn. They defeated the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings, but fell to the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Kings victory came on Sunday and despite a 115-113 final, defense played a huge role.

After Golden State's Stephen Curry hit two free throws to put the Warriors up two with 8.6 seconds left, Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas drove the length of the floor and center Andrew Bogut came to help Klay Thompson.

Help is exactly what the Australian did, sending the layup attempt off the backboard, then recovering the rebound and launching the ball into the air as the horn sounded.

"Big time play, I thought his defense overall was stellar," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said of Bogut. "He's the anchor of our defense. He did a great job of coming over from the weak side and big-time shot blocker."

Curry finished with 36 points and 10 assists, while Thompson added 28 thanks to a career-high eight 3-pointers.

"I have a great backcourt with two guys that can light up the scoreboard," said Jackson.

Harrison Barnes and David Lee both scored 11 points and Bogut had six, but pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked three shots.

The Raptors head west in the midst of a three-game losing streak, all of which came at home. Toronto will face the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers on this trip as well.

On Sunday, the Raps fell 112-98 at home to the Denver Nuggets. The Denver bench outscored the Toronto bench 72-16 and 10 of the Raptors 16 came from Terrence Ross.

"Our bench has to give us something," stated Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "Our guys have to get tougher defensively."

The Nuggets shot 50.6 percent from the field in the victory.

Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 23 points, followed by 18 and 11 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 17. Tyler Hansbrough made his first start of the season and managed seven points and five rebounds.

The Warriors won both matchups with the Dinos last season and have taken seven of the last eight meetings. Toronto has lost eight straight on the road in this series.