Game Preview: Raptors vs Clippers
Toronto Raptors (21-7) @ Los Angeles Clippers (17-9)
When: Tuesday, December 11th, 10:30 P.M. ET
Where: STAPLES Center
Leading into tonight’s game:
Injury Report: For the Raptors, Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) is out. For the Clippers, the injury report is to be announced.
Heading West: Tuesday’s game kicks off a four-game west coast trip for the Raptors. First up is a back-to-back against the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. The team will then head to Portland to take on the Blazers before finishing out the trip in Denver against the Nuggets. This will be the team’s final four-game trip of the season, and the Raptors will not travel past the central time zone again this season. “Road games are a good time to buy into each other as a collective unit,” Kawhi Leonard said. “[To] try to go out there and get those wins. It’s just [us] on the road, it’s gonna be a good trip for us.”
Back on track: The Raptors would like to jump-start their road trip with a victory, and snap the two-game skid they’re on. After winning a season-high eight straight, Toronto has dropped three of its last four games, with losses to the Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets and most recently, the Milwaukee Bucks. Tuesday’s game will be a back-to-back for the Clippers who notched a 123-119 overtime victory in Phoenix against the Suns on Monday night.
FVV for three: One positive in Sunday’s loss to the Bucks was the play of Fred VanVleet. The reserve point guard scored 19 points off the bench in 28 minutes, shooting 7-for-12 from the floor and leading the team with his 5-for-7 shooting performance from beyond the arc. VanVleet added two rebounds, two assists and a steal against Milwaukee.
Records on deck: Jonas Valanciunas needs one block to tie Amir Johnson (480) for second on the team’s all-time blocks list. Chris Bosh is the franchise leader with 600 career blocks. Kyle Lowry also has a milestone on deck, as his next double-double will be his 100th in a Raptors uniform. Lowry is fourth all-time on the double-doubles list, behind Bosh (239), Valanciunas (137) and Antonio Davis (110). He has recorded 11 double-doubles this season.
Familiar faces: There are lots of connections between these two teams, starting with Clippers star reserve and sixth man Lou Williams who spent the 2014-15 season with the Raptors and won the Sixth Man of the Year award as a Raptor. Williams won the same award as a member of the Clippers in 2018. Clippers assistant coach Rex Kalamian spent three seasons in Toronto as an assistant before heading to the Clippers in 2018. Delon Wright and Norman Powell are both California natives, with Wright attending Leuzinger High School and Powell playing four seasons at UCLA. Clippers rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is certainly familiar with the Raptors, having grown up in Hamilton, Ontario.