Game Preview: Raptors vs. Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies (18-33) @ Toronto Raptors (35-16)
When: Sunday, February 4th, 12 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: TSN4, TSN1050
The Raptors earned a 116-107 comeback victory against the Grizzlies in a road win in December. After trailing by 17 in the first half, Toronto, came all the way back, and thanks to a boost from the bench, pulled away in the fourth to earn the win. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 26 points while Serge Ibaka added 21 and Kyle Lowry had 16 points and eight assists. Fred VanVleet had one of his first fourth-quarter spark plug games of the season, scoring 12 points in Memphis to help Toronto overcome a 27-point performance from Tyreke Evans, 20 points from Marc Gasol and 15 from Chandler Parsons.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, C.J. Miles is questionable with a sore left knee. For Memphis, Mario Chalmers is out with a left hamstring injury. Mike Conley is out because of his left heel, Chandler Parsons is out with right knee soreness, and Tyreke Evans is not with the team.
Sunday Matinee: The Raptors will have their only 12 P.M. home matinee of the season on Sunday. This will be the second game in a four-game homestand, Toronto's longest of the season. The Raptors are 20-4 on their home floor, owning the best home record in the NBA. Toronto is averaging 113.2 points and 11.4 three-pointers on the Air Canada Centre court.
Hot from deep: Toronto enters Sunday's game fresh off a dominant 130-105 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Raptors were lights out from beyond the arc against Portland, connecting on 19-of-40 attempts from three. DeMar DeRozan shot 6-for-10 from three, nearly matching the number of threes made by Portland (7-for-21). Jonas Valanciunas also got into the action, shooting 2-of-4 from three, showing once again how Toronto's offence has evolved.
DeRozan on fire: In his first home game since being named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January, DeMar DeRozan exploded for 35 points. He also tied a career-high with six three-pointers. DeRozan is averaging 24.6 points (11th in the league), 4.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists (a career-high) per game. Toronto is 12-1 this season when he scores 30+ points.
Homecoming: Sunday's game will serve as a bit of a homecoming for Mississauga native and Grizzlies rookie Dillon Brooks. Having just been named to the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge as part of the World team, Brooks is in the middle of a solid rookie campaign, starting for the Grizzlies, and averaging 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He is also shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.
#BetOnYourself: Fred VanVleet continues to lead Toronto's reserves, scoring 16 points in Friday's victory against the Blazers. VanVleet has now topped double figures 16 times this season and Toronto is 13-3 in games where he does. On the season, VanVleet is averaging 7.8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 assists, and is averaging 14.6 points in his last five games.