Game Preview: Raptors vs. Nets
Brooklyn Nets (11-16) @ Toronto Raptors (18-8)
When: Friday, December 15, 7:30 P.M. ET.
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: TSN, TSN1050
The Raptors defeated the Nets 103-95 in Brooklyn in the last meeting between these two teams in February of last year. Kyle Lowry had a 15-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double as the Raptors played without DeMar DeRozan and ended a two-game losing streak. Jonas Valanciunas scored 22 points to lead the Raptors in scoring and former Raptor Terrence Ross added 17 points. The Nets, who were led by Brook Lopez's 20 points, trailed by 17 points before cutting the deficit to four midway through the fourth. With the game in doubt, Lowry went into action, setting up his teammates and knocking down free throws to secure the victory.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: Delon Wright (right shoulder) and Lucas Nogueira (right calf) will miss the game for the Raptors. For the Nets, D'Angelo Russell (left knee surgery) and Jeremy Lin (ruptured patella tendon right knee) are out.
Recent history: The Raptors come into Friday's game having won their previous eight meetings with the Nets. Toronto has swept the season series the past two seasons, winning those games by an average margin of +11.3 points. Of course, this year's Nets team has a different look, with long-time Net Brook Lopez now a Los Angeles Laker, and Jeremy Lin and D'Angelo Russell both sidelined with injury.
DeRozan rolling: In Toronto's 115-109 victory against the Phoenix Suns to close out their four-game road trip 3-1, DeMar DeRozan tied a season-high with 37 points. He scored 18 points in the third quarter and finished 12-for-24 from the floor and 13-for-15 from the free throw line. DeRozan is averaging 23.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 34.5 minutes per game.
Double-double: Jonas Valanciunas recorded a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double against the Suns on Wednesday. This was the 110th career double-double for Valanciunas, moving him into a tie with Antonio Davis for second all-time in Raptors history. The all-time franchise leader is Chris Bosh with 239 double-doubles.
Familiar faces: Former Raptors player DeMarre Carroll will make his return to the Air Canada Centre after being traded to the Nets over the offseason. Carroll is having a solid season in Brooklyn, averaging single-season highs of 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. While this will be Carroll's first return to the ACC, Nets forward Quincy Acy is also a former Raptors player, having been drafted by Toronto with the 37th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Back-to-back: Fridays game will be Toronto's first home game following a four-game west-coast road trip. It will be the second game in a back-to-back for the Nets, who lost to the New York Knicks on Thursday before flying to Toronto for Friday's matchup against the Raptors.