Aaron Gray’s big night wasn’t enough to rescue the flu-ravaged Toronto Raptors.
The centre had a career-high 22 points Monday, but the Golden State Warriors pulled away late for a 114-102 victory over Toronto.
“They’re a much improved team, we feel like we can compete with teams like that, but tonight we just couldn’t stop anybody,” said Gray, who also had 10 rebounds. “They scored way too many points, that’s not the identity we want to have.
“It’s hard to beat teams when they score 114.”
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said after the game that a bug is going through the team’s locker-room. Landry Fields left the game at half-time because of flu-like symptoms after collecting just two points in 13 minutes.
“We’re a worn down team right now with the flu, injuries and all that stuff coming through,” said Casey, whose team has lost seven of nine. “Again there are no excuses. This is the NBA, nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. It’s going to be that way the rest of the way so we got to strap it up, lace it up and be ready to go to work.”
David Lee had 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Klay Thompson added 19 points and seven boards for Golden State (27-17).
“I think we finally got to settle in today,” said Lee. “We are only going to get better working together. We had 62 points in the paint tonight. I thought that was because we really focused on going inside and finishing at the rim.”
Carl Landry had six of his 12 points in the fourth quarter for Golden State and Andrew Bogut returned from an injury to also score 12 as the Warriors earned their first victory in four games against Eastern Conference opponents this month.
Harrison Barnes and Jarrett Jack each scored 14 for the Warriors, who wrap up a four-game road trip at Cleveland on Tuesday.
Monday marked Bogut’s return to the Warriors’ lineup after missing 38 games recovering from surgery in April for a micro fracture in his left ankle. Bogut played four games this season before deciding in November that his ankle wasn’t healthy enough.
“It’s been a long season for me so far, a frustrating season both mentally and physically,” said Bogut. “Just to be out there, running up and down the court again, and especially getting a win, was very satisfying. It’s been a bumpy ride but I think it’s at a stage now where I’m ready to progress.”
Up by two points to begin the fourth, the Warriors pulled away with a 12-3 run as Toronto missed 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts of the quarter.
DeMar DeRozan, who missed practice Sunday because he too is battling the flu, had a career-high nine assists to go along with 21 points for Toronto.
“It’s just me understanding teams are going to play me differently and understanding if there’s two guys on me somebody’s going to be open,” said DeRozan of finding his teammates. “That’s my biggest thing — understanding night-in, night-out teams are going to try to get the ball out of my hands. I just got to make the right decisions.”
Ed Davis had 12 points for the Raptors (16-29), while Alan Anderson, Jose Calderon and Terrence Ross each scored 11.
Amir Johnson, who came into the game averaging 14.6 points and 9.1 rebounds in his last 10 games, finished with nine points and five rebounds.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry left late in the third quarter after he twisted his ankle. Curry finished with 17 points in 26 minutes of action. He came in averaging 30.3 points against the Raptors — his highest against any team.
“I just stepped on someone’s foot and have to see how it responds tomorrow,” said Curry.
Toronto finished January 4-6 at home and is now 7-15 against the Western Conference this season.
Note: Raptors guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with back spasms. ... Gray’s previous high was 19 points, set with Chicago against Toronto on April 16, 2008. ... Lee has an NBA-high 18 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. ... All five Golden State starters reached double figures in scoring, the first time that’s happened this season