SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr during his pregame news conference Friday night at the Chase Center laid out the plan for the Warriors to defeat the Toronto Raptors.

Hero Ball could not be an option. The game could not become a glorified 1v1 competition. Ball movement was a must.

Toronto is long and likes to change everything on defense. The Warriors had to take care of the ball, something they have struggled with all season. This time, the tone was set from the start.

Golden State seemed to hear Kerr loud and clear. There was a clear game plan, and the execution appeared in the Victory of the Warriors 129-117 about the Raptors.

“We know they’re going to change everything and they’ve got all these tall, athletic guys,” Kerr said before kickoff. “So you’d have to move them. You can’t just leave them sitting on boxes and elbows and keep taking a trade and trying to beat guys 1-on-1. The ball has to move. You have to move their defense.” around and have them change multiple times instead of just once.

“If you do that, they’re more likely to make a mistake and you’re more likely to get open shots.”

The Raptors entered Friday leading the NBA with an average of 9.4 steals per game. They were also allowing the fifth most assists per game.

The Warriors took advantage, with their offense rarely, if ever, feeling stale and stagnant. The ball was hot, flying everywhere with precision. It also started early.

The Warriors had 13 assists in the first quarter. That number moved to 21 at halftime and 32 over three quarters. Typically, the Warriors’ number to circulate is 30. They exceeded that even before the fourth quarter began.

Ultimately, the Warriors set a new season high of 40 assists. His previous high was 38 in a seven-point win against the Houston Rockets on November 20, 2022.

“Yeah, for the most part,” Kerr said after the win when asked if the Warriors stuck to their pregame plan. “The ball was moving and you have to do that against this team. They’re too good with their switchups and they just hang around the dribblers.”

“You have to attack them with the pass and with cuts and I think we did a good job of that.”

Klay Thompson, who had 29 points, six 3-pointers and an assist at the party, had a slightly shorter explanation for the Warriors’ success.

Happy teammates, happy lives.

“Forty assists equals great ball movement, equals everybody’s happy, so I’m happy,” he said.

Steph Curry worked his way to a game-high 35 points, bursting with efficiency. He was 13-of-21 from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point range and made all five of his free throws. Curry also dished out 11 assists.

Just like Donte DiVincenzo. His 11 assists set a new career high. Before Friday night, he had never dished out more than nine assists in a game and his Warriors record was eight. Whether it’s what the numbers or the eye test say, this is nothing new with DiVincenzo.

He’s put together an extended series of games together in which it’s becoming increasingly clear how valuable he is to the Warriors. DiVincenzo was a threat on defense and recorded two steals. He scored 12 points and drained two of his five 3-point attempts.

For a team that can play so spread out, his stability is exactly what the Warriors need.

“Donté was fantastic again,” Kerr said. “He’s had a great run now for the last six or eight weeks. He just competes. He’s just a guard. He’s not a point guard, he’s not a double guard. He’s just a basketball player.”

“He had 11 assists, moved the ball beautifully, competes defensively. Donté has been incredible for us.”

In addition to setting a career high for assists in a game, DiVincenzo also set a season high for plus/minus. In 33 minutes off the bench, he was a plus-24.

Some live and die for more/less. Others brush it aside. DiVincenzo took the right path.

“I had no idea he was over 24,” DiVincenzo said. “I don’t know. I think sometimes it’s skewed when I’m playing two of the greatest shooters of all time.”

Assists are great, although they don’t tell the whole story. The Warriors lead the league in assists, but with the win they are now 25-24 on the season. They also rank second to the Rockets in 11 wins in turnovers per game.

At first, it looked like the Warriors were in for another sloppy night. Within the first 32 seconds of the game, they turned the ball over twice. The rest of the quarter, there were no more turnovers. By halftime, the Warriors had only turned the ball over four times. The previous game, they racked up 14 turnovers in the first two quarters, adding 29 points for the Grizzlies.

Overall, the Warriors finished with 14 turnovers, including Curry, who let the clock run out late on. Still, that’s two fewer than they average, and the Raptors only scored 15 points on turnovers. To go from winning two straight games to building on a winning streak, the Warriors will have to continue to share the wealth while valuing the ball even more as they embark on a three-game road trip.

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Curry will take the Warriors win over the Raptors, just as he enjoyed beating the Grizzlies. Now is time for more.

“We’ve been teetering on both sides of .500 for a long time,” Curry said. “I’m a bit fed up right now. I have to figure out how to keep moving in the right direction and rack up profit no matter how we can get it.”

The plan was made as clear as possible beforehand, and it turned out to be true in the end. Now another test awaits you.

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