The Raptors will look to shake off Wednesday’s loss against the Indiana Pacers as they take on the Houston Rockets tonight. It’s the first meeting between these two teams and one in which the Raptors will look to make a statement.
Coming off a career-high 61 points in Wednesday’s win against the New York Knicks, Houston’s James Harden has been on a tear — to say the least. Harden is putting up video game-like numbers on the whole this season, averaging 36.3 points per game on an absurd 62.2 true shooting percentage. He has also scored 30-plus points in his last 21 games. To add to that, the reigning MVP is averaging 52.2 points per game over his past five contests.
Harden is putting up these ridiculous numbers in part because he’s been playing without his All-Star point guard of late. Chris Paul, who was questionable for tonight’s game, has been ruled out vs. the Raptors. Since the Rockets are already without Clint Capela, Harden may just have to try and do it all again tonight.
Chris Paul looking more like “Sunday” return and not tonight per Coach D’Antoni. #Rockets— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 25, 2019
Good news for Raptors fans though is that Harden’s scoring streak may take a hit. Toronto will have Kawhi Leonard in action tonight, who was just named as one of the starters for this year’s All-Star Game. If there is anyone who can make Harden uncomfortable, it has to be the two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner in Leonard.
The Raptors head to Houston to take on the Rockets (8 ET on ESPN). Kawhi Leonard could make his return tonight and that isn’t good news for James Harden.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 25, 2019
Leonard has held Harden to 27% shooting in the halfcourt over the last five seasons, including the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/ANqzeMDXYy
It’s going to take an army to stop him, but the Raptors have the players to do so. Along with Leonard, expect Danny Green, OG Anunoby (also back in the lineup tonight), and Norman Powell to get looks on Harden.
Before we get to it, here is John Gaudes’ full Raps-Rockets preview, and below are the updated game details for tonight’s matchup.
Now let’s get in the comments!
Where to Watch
TSN, 8 p.m. ET
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Houston — Austin Rivers, James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Kenneth Faried
Toronto — Jonas Valanciunas (OUT — Thumb injury)
Houston — Clint Capela (OUT — Right thumb injury), Brandon Knight (OUT — Left knee soreness), Chris Paul (OUT — Left hamstring strain)