Game Preview: Raptors vs Spurs
San Antonio Spurs (33-26) @ Toronto Raptors (43-16)
When: Friday, February 22nd, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Leading into tonight’s game:
- Injury report: For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet (left thumb ligament) is out. For the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) and Derrick White (right heel soreness) are listed as probable, DeJounte Murray (torn right anterior cruciate ligament) is out.
- Back to business: The Raptors are back on the court following the NBA’s annual All-Star break. Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and OG Anunoby all represented the organization by participating in All-Star festivities in Charlotte. The team is on a six-game winning streak, and in the midst of a six-game homestand as well. The Raptors do not go back on the road again until Mar. 3, when they travel to Detroit.
- Recent history: This will be the final regular-season meeting with the Spurs this season. It will also be DeMar DeRozan’s first time playing at Scotiabank Arena as a member of the road team, following the July trade that sent DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. DeRozan was drafted by the Raptors in the 2009 draft and spent nine seasons in Toronto. He is the franchise leader in points, field goals made, free throws made, games played, and victories. He was also a four-time All-Star in a Raptors uniform. In the previous meeting against the Spurs in San Antonio on Jan. 3, DeRozan recorded his first career triple-double in a 125-107 Spurs victory. The Raptors were led by Leonard’s 21 points in the loss.
- Forty-four club: Pascal Siakam set yet another career-high in points in Toronto’s last game before the break. Siakam exploded for 44 points in Toronto’s 129-120 victory against the Washington Wizards. He is the 11th player in franchise history to top 40 points, and he finished the game 15-for-25 from the floor, 4-for-5 from beyond the three-point line and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. He also added 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots in 33 minutes. Siakam is averaging 16.1 points per game this season.
- Career-high: OG Anunoby also scored a career-high against the Wizards, finishing with 22 points on 9-for-14 field goals, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. Anunoby’s previous career-high was 21 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 21. The Raptors sophomore forward is averaging 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game.
- Raps debut: In addition to Anunoby and Siakam setting career-highs, Toronto’s final game before the break also featured Jeremy Lin’s debut. Arriving in Toronto just hours before tip-off, Lin suited up to play 25 minutes in his first game as a Raptor, finishing with eight points, five rebounds and five assists. Lin is now a Raptor after playing 51 games with the Atlanta Hawks, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 assist and 2.3 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game this season.