Game Preview: Raptors vs. Jazz
Utah Jazz (20-28) @ Toronto Raptors (32-14)
When: Friday, January 26th, 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: SN1, SN590
The Toronto Raptors earned a 109-100 road victory against the Utah Jazz in November. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a game-high 37 points, scoring 17 in the third quarter as the Raptors outscored the Jazz 36-28 to lead 89-82 heading into the fourth. Toronto would never trail in the final frame, with DeRozan going on a 6-0 run of his own late in the fourth to clinch the victory. C.J. Miles did not play in his return to the city that drafted him because of flu-like symptoms, while Norman Powell and Kyle Lowry each added 15 points. The Jazz were led by rookie Donovan Mitchell's 25 points in the loss.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, the injury report is clear. For the Jazz, Rodney Hood is out with a lower leg contusion.
Home sweet home: Friday's game against the Jazz kicks off a three-game homestand for the Raptors. After Utah, the team will see the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves before hitting the road again next week. Toronto has the second-best home record in the league this season, going 17-3 on the Air Canada Centre floor.
Welcome Toronto: Friday's game will have a bit of a different look to it. With the players wearing black and gold city edition uniforms, the ACC will also have a new look as the team debuts a new black and gold home court. This will be the first of six Welcome Toronto games scheduled for the 2017-18 season.
Giving back: In addition to their black and gold uniforms and the new-look court, the Welcome Toronto program will also give back in a big way. The Raptors organization has partnered with Global Ambassador Drake to donate $1 million to refurbish local community basketball courts, as well as another $2 million to Canada Basketball.
FVV hive: Fred VanVleet continues to flourish for the Raptors this season. In Wednesday's 108-93 blowout victory against the Atlanta Hawks on the road, VanVleet led the team with 14 points in the first half. He finished with a game-high 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocked shots in 18 minutes, while shooting 6-for-9 from the floor, 4-for-6 from the three-point line and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Backcourt besties: Prior to the NBA All-Star draft taking place, Kyle Lowry told reporters he wanted to play alongside teammate DeMar DeRozan in Los Angeles, not against him. He got his wish, as both Lowry and DeRozan were selected to Team Curry, with Stephen Curry making the selections. The Raptors backcourt will be joined by Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, James Harden, Al Horford, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Karl-Anthony Towns.