Game Preview: Raptors vs Celtics
Toronto Raptors (33-12) @ Boston Celtics (25-18)
When: Wednesday, January 16th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: TD Garden
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury Report: For the Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas is out with a dislocated left thumb and OG Anunoby is out for personal reasons. C.J. Miles is listed as questionable with right hip soreness and Fred VanVleet is listed as questionable with a left thigh contusion. For the Celtics, Aron Baynes is out with a left fourth metacarpal fracture, Jabari Bird is out for personal reasons, and Marcus Smart is questionable with an illness.
- Five in a row: Toronto is in Boston on a five-give winning streak, following a 140-138 double-overtime thriller in Washington against the Wizards on Sunday. This will be their final game in a two-game road trip, and the first in a road/home back-to-back. After the team faces the Celtics on Wednesday, they will head back to Toronto immediately to prepare to take on the Phoenix Suns at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday. The Celtics enter Wednesday’s game on a three-game losing streak, most recently falling to the Nets 109-102 on Monday in Brooklyn.
- Recent history: This is the third meeting between these teams this season. Though Toronto won the first matchup of the season 113-101 at Scotiabank Arena, the Celtics defeated the Raptors 123-116 in overtime in the most recent meeting of these teams. Though Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and had 15 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 21 points, the Raptors had no answer for Kyrie Irving in the fourth as the Celtics point guard scored 17 of his 43 points in the final quarter.
- Player of the Week: Kawhi Leonard had his second 40-point game of the season in Washington, finishing with 41 points, 11 rebounds, five assists three steals and two blocked shots in 45 minutes. The next day he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season as well. Leonard averaged 30.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.3 steals on 54 percent shooting, including 47 percent shooting from beyond the arc for the week as he led the Raptors to a 3-0 performance.
- Continuing to roll: In addition to wrapping up Player of the Week honours, Leonard’s 41-point performance agains the Wizards also extended his career-best streak of consecutive games scoring at least 20 points to 19 straight games (Nov.27-Jan.13). This is the longest current streak in the NBA this season. The franchise record is held by Vince Carter who scored 20+ points in 23 straight games. Leonard has also scored 30+ points 14 times this season.
- Continuing to flourish: Pascal Siakam narrowly missed out on a chance to record the first 20-20 game of his career on Sunday, finishing with 24 points and 19 rebounds (and two assists and three steals and two blocks), before fouling out in overtime. The 19 rebounds were a career-high for Siakam, and the second time he has set a new career-high in rebounds this season. Siakam is averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.9 minutes per game this season