Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors are starting to gain some ground on the Milwaukee Bucks, and a win over the Brooklyn Nets at home tonight could get them one step closer to reclaiming the number one spot in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto is 41-16 on the season, one game behind the Bucks. They have gone 7-3 in their last 10 and have won their last four consecutive games. Brooklyn, on the other hand, is currently sixth in the East with a 29-28 record on the season. They have split their last 10 games and enter tonight’s game after losing their previous game.
The Raptors and Knicks last faced off on January 11, with Kawhi Leonard leading the Raptors to a 122-105 win. He had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the game, while first-time All-Star D’Angelo Russell had 24 points and nine assists in the loss.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Channel: YES, SN1
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
The Brooklyn Nets had a statement win against one of the top teams in the league last week with a 135-130 win over the Denver Nuggets but after that high, they had an immediate low on Friday night as they lost 106-125 to the 13-43 Chicago Bulls.
They’ll have a much tougher Eastern Conference opponent tonight, so they’ll need to try to recreate the magic they had against Denver when seven players scored in double figures. They were only able to get five players to cross that mark against the Bulls, with frontcourt pairing Rodions Kurucs and Treveon Graham only managing a combined nine points.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points, while Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe, who is back from injury, had 19 points apiece. Caris Levert is also back in the rotation for Brooklyn, and he had 11 points in his return.
Jarrett Allen has played well for the Nets in his last two games. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Chicago, and he’ll be important tonight against Toronto’s bevy of bigs including Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Pascal Siakam.
Toronto Raptors Preview Starting Lineup
Just when it looked like the Milwaukee Bucks were starting to separate themselves atop the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors have come storming back by winning their last four games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.
After seeing several other Eastern Conference contenders get stronger over the trade deadline, the Raptors traded for Marc Gasol, who made his Raptors debut against the Knicks with seven points and six rebounds in 19 minutes.
In the 104-99 win over the Knicks, which was very likely too close for comfort for Raptors coach Nick Nurse, Kyle Lowry led the team with 22 points and five assists. Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup after missing the game against the Hawks. He had just 11 points, but he’ll likely be expected to shoulder more of an offensive load tonight. Serge Ibaka has 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Danny Green had 14 points in the win.
Nurse said he plans to continue having Marc Gasol come off the bench as he gets him familiar with the Raptors system, but it is expected that he may get the start once he gets comfortable and the Raptors get closer to the playoffs.
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Betting Odds
The Raptors are heavy 10.5-point favorites to win tonight’s game at home, where the Raptors are currently 22-5. Toronto is also 34-10 as the favorite. Brooklyn is 12-15 on the road and 14-26 as the underdog.
The over/under is 228 points and there has been just minimal movement on the moneyline with Toronto at -620 after opening at -650. Against the spread, the Nets are 30-11-16 and Toronto is 25-17-15.
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