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

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The Raptors and Rockets meet for the second time this season, but with both teams atop their respective conferences. Something has got to give.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We often complain about the NBA schedule makers, that mega genius collective responsible for giving the Raptors a 6-game west coast swing here, or a back-and-forth road-and-home sequence there. Sometimes it does feel like the makers of the schedule are quite cruel — witness the Raps as they head into their third game in four nights. There are indeed only so many days in an NBA regular season, and those 82 games have to happen somehow — but come on schedule makers, work with us here. Please!

But I digress. Sometimes the schedule aligns and even that aforementioned crush of games pays off in fun and exciting ways. Case in point: the Raptors and Rockets are meeting tonight, a crisp Friday evening in Toronto, both atop their respective conferences, and both riding highs that have them looking like title favourites. What a time, and all that.

For Houston, it’s an eye-popping 17-game win streak that has them talking championship. It’s also the MVP-calibre play of James Harden, the reliably cranky majesty of Chris Paul, and the supporting cadre of shooters. For the Raptors, it’s wins in 13 of their last 14 games, and a string of memorable performances from everyone on the roster — DeMar DeRozan’s inspiring dunk to destroy Detroit, C.J. Miles’ impossibly hot shooting to kill the Wizards, and even the supremely silly sight of Jonas Valanciunas lumbering down the lane with the game on the line. It feels like everything is going right with both teams, is my point.

But now, we lean back on that old standard: there can be only one.

One of these two teams will emerge the victor, and lay claim — at least in the window of the next 24 hours or so — to be the best team in the whole NBA.

Here’s the full Raptors-Rockets preview from Dylan Litman this morning.

And below is your updated information. Now, let’s watch!

Where to Watch:

Sportsnet One, 7:30 pm EST

Lineups:

Toronto – Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas

Houston – Chris Paul, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela

Injuries:

Toronto – OG Anunoby (sadly, out), Delon Wright (even more sadly, out)

Houston – Brandan Wright (ill; not the good kind), Ryan Anderson (out with a sore hip), Chinanu Onuaku (out)

FACEBOOK LIVE!

Raptors. Rockets. Sean. Dan. Facebook. Now. Ask questions in the comments!

Posted by Raptors HQ on Friday, March 9, 2018