Where to Watch: Sportsnet 360 (Toronto), NBA League Pass (National), ROOT (Houston)
Where to Listen: Sportsnet 590 The FAN (Toronto), 790 AM (Houston)
As the Toronto Raptors continue to pile up impressive wins against clubs over .500, they take on another strong team with a similar record. The 36-18 Rockets have been playing great despite losing star centre Dwight Howard. As they meet for the first time this season, Toronto comes into the game riding on a four-game win streak.
In the game against the Hawks last night, Lou Williams went off for 26 points. The Raps are 11-0 when Williams scores 22 points or more. An interesting note: back in 2012-13, Williams averaged 21.5 points in three games against the Rockets.
The sharp shooting Rockets have struggled as of late losing for the third time in four games with Friday's 111-100 loss against the Dallas Mavericks. In that game, the Rockets went 12-of-37 from three-point range, after hitting 9-of-45 in a 110-95 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 11.
The last time both teams met was on April. 2, 2014 at the Air Canada Centre. Houston came back from a 20 point deficit to pull within three in the final seconds but couldn't get any closer, losing 103-107 at Toronto. James Harden scored a team high 26 points, and Dontas Montiejunas added 13. DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 29 points while Terrence Ross had 14. Kyle Lowry sat out with a sore left knee as Greivis Vasquez replaced him in the starting lineup. Vasquez posted 15 points and eight assists.
But the story lately has been the Raptors defense, which continues to shine. They've held their opponents to 90.5 points per game during their four game win streak. And this is in games against the Clippers, Spurs, Wizards and Hawks. No slouches in that group.
This Rockets team will look a little different as the Rockets acquired Pablo Prigioni from the New York Knicks and K.J. McDaniels from the Philadelphia 76ers during the crazy NBA Trade Deadline. Both are expected to suit up against the Raptors tonight. Game time is 8 o'clock.
Extra Game Notes:
- The Raps have a chance for a season best six straight road victories and are first in the NBA in scoring on the road with an average of 108.6 points per game this season.
- Toronto ranks first in the NBA over the last three game holding opponents to 85 points and 37 percent shooting from the field.
- Per Elias, Toronto's victory over the Hawks last night was the first time in the NBA's 68-year history that a team had earned a road victory by a margin of at least 25 points against a team with as high a winning percentage as the Hawks' .796 (min. 20 games into the season). [Ed. Note: A lot of qualifiers there, but still.]
What do you think about the game? Will wee see another lopsided win? Fire up in the comments below!