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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets preseason

The penultimate preseason game for Toronto comes against the Rockets at Scotiabank Arena. Let’s watch.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch toward the regular season, the Toronto Raptors are looking for a positive outcome tonight after two straight preseason losses. There might not be a better team to get that against than the Houston Rockets.

Largely expected to be a bottom-dweller in an otherwise deep Western Conference, the Rockets’ season will likely be a long showcase for second overall pick Jalen Green, who has already wowed with some preseason highlights. With John Wall away from the team, there’s even more opportunity for Green to get the ball, and for Raptors fans who only see the Rockets so many times — this will be a good chance to see the rookie in action.

For the Raptors, the major news tonight is the return of Khem Birch, who is out of health and safety protocols after he and his family dealt with COVID-19. Nick Nurse mentioned in his pre-game availability that he expects the split of centre minutes between Birch and Precious Achiuwa to be more or less 50/50, and that could start tonight; Achiuwa will remain the starter for now, at least.

So, maybe there’s more to watch than you expected from a preseason game between the Raptors and Rockets. Here are the game details, then let’s get to the comments.

Where to Watch

TSN4, 7 PM ET

Lineups

Toronto — Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa

Houston — Jae’Sean Tate, Christian Wood, Daniel Theis, Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr.

Injuries

Toronto — Goran Dragic (rest — out); Gary Trent Jr. (sore thigh — out); Chris Boucher (dislocated finger — out); Pascal Siakam (shoulder surgery — out)

Houston — John Wall (not with team — out); Danuel House Jr. (personal — out); Eric Gordon (ankle — out)