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Game Preview: Raptors vs Nuggets

Former Villanova teammates Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry set to go head-to-head

Randy Foye (left) and Kyle Lowry were teammates at Villanova University for seasons before arriving in the NBA.
NBAE/Getty Images

In 15 games against his former Villanova teammate Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye has come away with a victory nine times.

Foye will try to make it an even 10 when the Denver Nuggets take on Lowry and the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Pepsi Center.

“That’s my younger brother,” Foye said. “When he came to Villanova, I was two years older and took him under my wing. He had all the basketball talent, but I helped him with the basic things – communicating with coaches, making sure he got to class, things like that. To see where he’s at today, I’m extremely proud.”

With Foye and Lowry leading the way, Villanova advanced to the Elite Eight in 2006. They entered the NBA draft together three months later and their friendly rivalry has been going strong ever since.

Because of his role as a shooting guard, Foye typically doesn’t often defend Lowry – a point guard averaging 16.8 points and 7.6 assists – but that could change Friday night.

Nuggets starting point guard Ty Lawson is a game-time decision with a strained left rotator cuff, while backup Nate Robinson is out with a sprained left knee.

Foye is ready to fill whatever role coach Brian Shaw puts in front of him – an attitude that stems from his days at Villanova.

“We’re always prepared to play and do whatever the team needs us to do,” Foye said. “That’s just a testament to our university and what our coach (Jay Wright) at Villanova expects out of his guards every night. If you’re guarding someone bigger or smaller, you bring it every night. That’s something I carry with me every single day.”

Lowry has the Raptors playing well as they open a five-game road trip. Toronto has won four of its past five games to climb three games over .500 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Raptors also are 18-11 since losing to Denver at home on Dec. 1.


RAPTORS AT NUGGETS


WHEN:
7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

PROBABLE STARTERS
DENVER (22-22)

F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

TORONTO (24-21)
F Terrence Ross
F Amir Johnson
C Jonas Valanciunas
G Greivis Vasquez
G Kyle Lowry

INJURY REPORT
DENVER:
Lawson (left rotator cuff strain) is a game-time decision. Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (strained knee ligament) are out.
TORONTO: DeMar DeRozan (sprained foot) and Patrick Patterson (broken noses) are day-to-day; Landry Fields (wrist surgery) is out.

SERIES NOTES
The Nuggets have won 11 of the last 13 against Toronto in Denver, including nine straight since 2004-05 . . . Denver has played extremely well against the Raptors in recent years, having gone 15-3 overall over the past nine seasons, with an average margin of victory of 13.8 points in those 15 wins . . . The Nuggets have claimed six season series sweeps (2-0) over the Raptors in that same span . . . One of the three losses for Denver against Toronto in the past nine years happened to be the worst loss in the series – 27 points (121-94) at Toronto on 3/23/07 . . . Denver's most lopsided win over Toronto came on 12/2/08 - a 39-point victory at Pepsi Center.