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Raptors vs. Hawks Game Thread: Pre-game updates, TV info, and more

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Playing the worst team in the league couldn’t come at a better time. The Raptors are (relatively) reeling, and they’re going to play without Serge Ibaka.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors need a win in the worst way. The team is 23-10, and still in second in the Eastern Conference. But prior to the recent Dallas-Oklahoma two-step, the Raptors hadn’t lost two games in a row for over a month, way back in late November against Indiana and New York. Playing the 9-25 Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in the league, is just the thing to end the year on a high note. At least that’s the idea in theory.

It’s worth noting, the Raptors did just lose to the 9-25 Dallas Mavericks (who have now won two in a row to find themselves at 11-25), so perhaps we shouldn’t count this one as a W just yet. And also, there’s, uh, the other news from 90 minutes ago: Serge Ibaka is suspended by the team for this one.

Here’s Dwane Casey before the game on what happened:

“Masai [Ujiri]’s statement is self-explanatory, it’s a disagreement, altercation, whatever you want to call it. It’s already been resolved. We met about it, both guys, apologized to each other, and again those things happen in the course of living together for six to eight months. And again, we have limits in our culture, how we want to live within our team, how we want to treat people, and it went over the limit.”

Everything else is as it should be though. The Raptors don’t have any injuries, and they are still the better team on paper. Will they triumph tonight? Let’s watch.

Here’s Joel Stephens’ preview from earlier today. Big time updates to follow:

Where to Watch:

TSN2, 7:30 pm

Lineups:

Toronto – Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, OG Anunoby, C.J. Miles, Jonas Valanciunas

Atlanta – Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova, Miles Plumlee

Injuries:

Toronto – Serge Ibaka (Bruised ego - suspended)

Atlanta – Dewayne Dedmon, Mike Muscala, Josh Magette