Key Matchup vs. Toronto Raptors: Kemba Walker vs. Kyle Lowry
With Kemba Walker back in the mix this time around, the Charlotte Hornets will look to even the season series with the visiting Toronto Raptors at Spectrum Center on Wednesday night.
Since sitting out the first contest of the year against Toronto back on Nov. 29 (shoulder), Walker has posted marks of 19.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.8 steals over his last nine appearances for Charlotte. The Hornets guard has struggled with efficiency during this stretch (36.6 percent from the field), although did average 28.8 points on 50.7 percent shooting and 6.5 assists in four games against the Raptors last season.
Walker will try to prevent Kyle Lowry from replicating his season-high 36-point outing against the Hornets three weeks ago, which included a career-high eight three-point field goals. Overall, the 12th-year veteran is averaging just 16.0 points this campaign (down from 22.4 in 2016-17) to go along with a career-high 6.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.1 steals per outing.
A career-high 63.1 percent of Lowry’s field-goal attempts this season are coming from behind the arc, a sharp increase from the previous personal-high 51.0 percent he managed last year. Walker and the Charlotte backcourt can’t allow the Villanova product to get too comfortable from distance while also being wary of allowing easy transition points.