Warriors face troubling questions after 53-point loss to Raptors

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Moments before tipoff Friday night, when forward Draymond Green was scratched from the lineup because of a sprained left finger, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knew that his team could have a tough time against the Raptors: It was without its two best players on the back end of a back-to-back set.

But few could’ve anticipated the 130-77 loss at Amalie Arena that unfolded, which raised questions that went beyond X’s and O’s: Has Golden State lost its competitive fire? With 23 games left, do the Warriors even care about the playoffs?

Anyone who watched them jog back on defense, ball-watch and fail to make the extra pass might have wondered if this is already a lost season. The Warriors’ 53-point margin of defeat was the second-worst in franchise history behind a 63-point drubbing by the Lakers on March 19, 1972. Before Friday, Golden State hadn’t lost by more than 48 in nearly a half-century — even though those five decades were filled with plenty of ugly records.

What made Friday’s shellacking especially sobering was that it came against a team that entered the game almost completely out of the playoff picture at 18-30. Forced to relocate this season from Toronto to Tampa, Fla., because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Raptors hosted the Warriors having dropped 13 of their previous 14 games.