The Toronto Raptors will look to extend their five-game winning streak tonight when they travel to San Antonio to take on the ageless Spurs.
The Raps put a scare into the Spurs in their first meeting this season, challenging Tim Duncan and crew every step of the way before falling 111-106 in double overtime. Toronto got major production from Jonas Valanciunas in that game, as the rookie big man put up 22 points (a career-high) and seven rebounds in 39 minutes.
Unfortunately for the Raps, JV will miss tonight’s game after breaking his right ring finger in Orlando. Toronto will also be without Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Kyle Lowry (triceps).
As for the Raptors who will actually be on the floor, keep an eye on guards DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross. DeRozan has averaged 27.8 points in his last four games against the Spurs, while Ross is playing the best basketball of his young career. During the Raps current winning streak, Ross is scoring efficiently (50 percent on FGs), playing lock-down defense and even providing some insane highlight reel dunks.
Ross will have his hands full tonight, though, as he will look to slow the likes of Manu Ginobili and Danny Green. Ginobili is averaging just 11.6 points per game this season (his lowest since his rookie year), but he’s a threat to explode on any given night. Meanwhile, Green is coming off the best offensive performance of his career after scoring 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting against Dallas on Sunday. Green hit seven of his eight 3-point attempts against the Mavericks, helping San Antonio set its franchise record of 20 made threes.
Even though the Raps are shorthanded, this should be another close game. I’m expecting the veteran Spurs to prevail, but don’t be shocked if DeRozan, Ross and Co. continue their hot streak.
The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Austin Green is the editor of Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.