Game Preview: Raptors vs Nets
Brooklyn Nets (21-22) @ Toronto Raptors (31-12)
When: Friday, January, 11th, 7:30 P.M. E.T.
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury Report: For the Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas is out with a dislocated left thumb. C.J. Miles is listed as questionable with a sore right hip. For the Nets, the injury report is to be announced.
- Six straight: Toronto’s 104-101 victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday gave the Raptors a six-game winning streak at Scotiabank Arena. Friday’s game against the Nets will provide an opportunity for Toronto to match its season-high streak of seven consecutive victories at home. It will also close out a three-game homestand with the Raptors heading out on the road for a pair of games against the Wizards and Celtics.
- Recent history: This is the second of four meetings between these teams, with the Nets earning a 106-105 overtime victory against the Raptors in Brooklyn on Dec. 7 behind a a 29-point performance from D’Angelo Russell. The Nets snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Raptors with the win, beating Toronto for the first time since Apr. 3, 2015. Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 32 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 24 points, but the Raptors couldn’t score late and a three-pointer from Fred VanVleet was off the mark.
- All-around greatness: Kawhi Leonard’s line against the Hawks is one worth taking a moment to appreciate: 31 points (11-for-18 field goals, 3-for-6 three-point find goals, 7-for-7 free throws), four rebounds, six assists, six steals and a block in 35 minutes. His final steal came with 24.4 seconds remaining and the Raptors trailing by one, and it led to the Serge Ibaka dunk that put Toronto ahead for good. It was also Leonard’s 17th consecutive game scoring at least 20 points (a career-best streak), and the 13th time he’s topped 30 points this season.
- Swiping steals: In addition to Kawhi Leonard’s six steals against the Hawks, Kyle Lowry became the first Raptor in franchise history to have 700 career assists in a Raptors uniform thanks to his four steals in the game. The Raptors team as a whole tied a franchise-record with 18 steals against Atlanta, with seven different players recording at least one steal. The last time Toronto has recorded 18 steals in a game was Feb. 25. 1997 in overtime.
- Settling in: Tuesday’s game was Kyle Lowry’s second back after missing 10 of the previous 11 games. It was also the first time that Lowry and Kawhi Leonard had shared the court since Dec. 9. Lowry played 33 minutes against the Hawks, finishing with 16 points, two rebounds, six assists, four steals and a blocked shot. Despite the time away from the floor as he recovered from a sore back and thigh contusion, Lowry is still second in the league in assists, averaging 9.6 assists to go with 14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.