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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors @ Denver Nuggets

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A difficult stretch out west begins tonight in Denver, as the Raptors will fight altitude and an MVP front-runner as they continue the play in fight.

Denver Nuggets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Though they’ve recently brought most of their roster back together, the Toronto Raptors are running out of time to make any playoff aspirations a reality. Two games back of the Wizards in the ten seed with just ten games left in the regular season, the next three games may be the breaking point during a tough finish to Toronto’s schedule.

Tonight, they get the Nuggets, who are missing the presence of Jamal Murray after a season-ending injury, but still present plenty of firepower with MVP front-runner Nikola Jokic and burgeoning star Michael Porter Jr. Denver seems pretty well locked into the four seed in the West, but would probably still prefer to move up and avoid the Lakers in the first round.

The Raptors won’t be at full strength tonight, unfortunately. The team has decided to give Fred VanVleet the night off for injury recovery, as he continues to come back from a hip injury (and recently talked about his exhaustion following Toronto’s most recent back-to-back). Malachi Flynn takes his spot in the starting lineup.

For more on tonight’s game, check out this morning’s preview. Here are the full details.

Where to Watch

Sportsnet, 9 PM ET

Lineups

Toronto — Malachi Flynn, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch

Denver — PJ Dozier, Facundo Campazzo, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

Injuries

Toronto — Fred VanVleet (hip injury recovery — OUT), Chris Boucher (knee – OUT), Gary Trent Jr. (leg contusion – OUT), Paul Watson (knee – OUT)

Denver — Jamal Murray (knee – OUT), Will Barton (hamstring – OUT), Monte Morris (hamstring – OUT)