TORONTO • The Golden State Warriors had to work hard for it but the result was the same as it had been all season.
After a fierce struggle down the stretch, the Warriors overcame the Toronto Raptors 112-109 on Saturday. It was their 21st successive National Basketball Association (NBA) victory to start the season.
It took 44 points from guard Stephen Curry, who came up with 15 points in the fourth quarter.
It was his seventh game of the season with at least 40 points.
But it was the first time in his career that he had accomplished the feat in consecutive games.
He also scored 40 points in Wednesday's 116-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
"It's really been good - 21 different challenges and we've been able to separate each individually and figure out different ways to win," said Curry, the reigning Most Valuable Player.
Toronto is proving to be one of Curry's favourite places to play in.
He is averaging 30 points for his six career games at the Canadian city where his father, Dell, played for his final three seasons.
"I have great memories of being here watching my dad play. I got some shots up on that rim for three years every game night," he said.
"I enjoy coming back here and playing. It's a familiar setting."
The Raptors (12-9) received a career-high 41 points from point guard Kyle Lowry who added seven assists. However, it was still not enough to take down the champions, who improved to 11-0 on the road this season.
"That's a great NBA win right there," Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said.
"That Toronto team is very talented and they were playing at a high level today."
Guard Klay Thompson added 26 points for the Warriors while forward Draymond Green had 16 points and nine rebounds.
"I think everybody's staying in the moment," Curry said.
"That's the biggest thing for us: Every night trying to lock in and focus and bring the effort. We might not play our best game but we find a way to win, " he added.
The Raptors, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first quarter and by 10 at half-time, took the lead at 85-84 in the fourth quarter.
And they led 98-95 when forward Luis Scola made two free throws with 4min 13sec to play but Curry tied it with a three-pointer.
Another Curry treble with 2:33 to play put the Warriors ahead 102-100. After the Raptors tied it, Green made two free throws for a 104-102 Golden State lead with 1:25 to play.
DeMar DeRozan made one of two free throws to cut the lead to one.
Curry made two foul shots before Lowry made a driving lay-up with 44.2 seconds left. However, he missed a free throw and the Warriors led by one.
Curry made two free throws with 18.2 seconds left for a 108-105 lead.
Lowry cut the deficit to one before Thompson made two free throws with seven seconds to play.
The lead was down to one when Scola made two free throws with 6.2 seconds left.
Curry made both his free throws and Toronto turned over the ball with 3.3 seconds to play.
Lowry said there is little room for error when playing the Warriors.
"It's super small," he said.
"The way they shoot the ball, the way they move the ball and the way Draymond (Green) plays, they are the champs and it's as simple as that."