• KYODO, REUTERS

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Yuta Watanabe matched his NBA season high with 12 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100 on Saturday.

The Japan national team forward also notched four rebounds, two steals and a block in 21 minutes off the bench against the visiting Warriors, who have the league’s best record at 24-6.

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet scored 27 points and dished out 12 assists to lead the way for Toronto, whichi improved to 14-15 with the win at Scotiabank Arena.

Watanabe logged the first double-double of his NBA career on Monday, contributing 12 points and 10 rebounds in a win against the Sacramento Kings.

The Raptors were returning to the court after Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls was postponed due to COVID-19.

The Warriors suited up just nine players for the finale of an eight-day, five-game road trip that featured two back-to-backs, but COVID-19 only played a small part in the shortened roster.

Jordan Poole missed his second straight game after entering health and safety protocols during the trip, but a majority of the Warriors’ absences were due to coach Steve Kerr electing to send Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. home after Golden State’s third win in its first four games of the trip, a hard-fought 111-107 triumph at Boston on Friday night.

The outcome was never in doubt after the Raptors, well rested following three days off, ran out to an early 25-10 lead.

“I thought we played a lot better in the second half, competed better,” Kerr said. “In the first half, we were on our heels and didn’t have a lot of juice and confidence.”

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