With a playoff berth in sight, the Toronto Raptors are taking advantage of some weak opponents before they begin a difficult stretch.
The Raptors look for a fourth straight win Sunday night when they try to prevent Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson from tying the NBA record for career victories.
Toronto (38-37) is trying to hold off Chicago for the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors host the Bulls next Sunday after playing three straight games against East contenders Cleveland, Boston and Atlanta.
That tough upcoming stretch makes it even more important for Toronto to take care of lowly teams such as Golden State (22-53). Four of the Raptors’ last five wins came against losing teams, including back-to-back victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia.
Beating the 76ers on Saturday wasn’t easy, as Chris Bosh(notes) had 28 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 128-123 overtime win. Toronto blew a 17-point third-quarter lead before Bosh dominated the extra period.
“We kept our composure, we came back and won the game,” Bosh said. “We need all of them right now.”
The Raptors hope to spoil Sunday night for Nelson, who is looking to surpass Lenny Wilkens’ record of 1,332 NBA victories. Nelson moved within one of tying the mark with a 128-117 win over New York on Friday.
“We’ll talk about it when it happens,” Nelson said. “If it happens.”
Anthony Morrow(notes) scored a season-high 35 points and Reggie Williams(notes) added 23. Nelson has been forced to use unheralded players such as Morrow and Williams due to a number of injuries, and they are appreciative of the opportunity.
“I just want to be able to do that for him,” said Morrow, who made 16 of 23 shots against the Knicks. “He gave me a chance in this league. I want to be a part of history.”
The Warriors have won 11 of 15 against the Raptors, including four of seven on the road. Golden State, though, is allowing a league-worst 112.6 points per game.
“We’re going to have to defend,” Bosh said about facing the Warriors. “Because they don’t want to defend, we know we can get any kind of bucket if we want to, we’re going to have to defend them first and make it tough on them.”
The Raptors are confident that the smaller lineup used by the 76ers will help prepare them for Golden State. Toronto took advantage by making 11 of 24 3-pointers Saturday.
“I think today was good for us because they showed us a small lineup and they were pressing and they ran kind of a spread-type offense, and we’re going to see the same kind of thing tomorrow,” Bosh said.
Toronto is shooting 55.9 percent during its win streak and 45.6 percent on 3-pointers.