Tagged in: Toronto Raptors

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors thrilled to have ‘the old Klay’ Thompson back at official practice

Golden State Warriors swingman Klay Thompson is starting to look more like his old basketball self amid his rehabilitation from a torn right Achilles injury.

Participating in his first official team practice since suffering the injury in an offseason workout Nov. 18, 2020, Thompson knocked down shots from all over the court, much to the delight of his teammates and coaches.

“Klay looked great,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated after his team’s first practice Tuesday. “Shooting the lights out. His team won the daily shooting competition. And he was smiling, laughing, joking around, it was really fun to see the old Klay back.”

Thompson, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since June 13, 2019, after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, has been bouncing around the team’s facility in good spirits in recent days as he looks forward to the opportunity to play competitively again.

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“Everyone’s excited that Klay is out on the floor,” Kerr said. “He basically did every single thing in practice today. We didn’t scrimmage, we didn’t have any live contact, but Klay is just so happy to be playing and we’re all so happy to see him part of it. So just a really good first day, first couple of days, and good energy as we start to get rolling.”

While Thompson’s return is still several months away, Kerr acknowledged that the former All-Star’s presence in practice has given the rest of his group an emotional boost.

“Part of it is his spirit, his energy, his joy,” Kerr said. “A big part of it too is, ‘Yeah, we got Klay.’ The confidence level as a group — we’re getting Klay back. It makes us all feel better. And that’s the sense that I have from our guys.”

While the Warriors are hesitant to put a specific return date on Thompson’s comeback as he continues rehabbing, general manager Bob Myers said during Monday’s media day that the organization’s hope is that some time, likely in December or January, Thompson comes to the coaches and front office and says he’s ready to play again — in consultation with the team’s medical staff.

Thompson noted on Monday that “I’m probably like 75 or 80 percentile of what I need to do,” as far as rehab goes. Either way, the Warriors are glad that Thompson is inching closer to a return — and they can see that the extended rehab process from two career-altering injuries has made the 31-year-old embrace the game, and the world around him, even more.

“I think his time away brought him a lot of suffering,” Kerr said. “Because the thing he likes best was taken away from him. It’s the first time that’s ever happened. And so, while he was away he had to go through some struggles that probably illuminated some of the struggles that other people have every day.

So it’s a pretty natural time to be sort of growing at that age, and emotionally expanding. And none of that surprises me given what we’ve known about Klay over the years. “He’s a deeply compassionate, aware person. He just doesn’t always show it to the world.”

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Los Angeles Lakers’ Dennis Schroder to miss extended period of games for health and safety protocols

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder will miss 10-14 days due to the league’s health and safety protocols, coach Frank Vogel confirmed Monday.

The veteran point guard sat out L.A.’s 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday because of the protocols. It was the second COVID-19-related absence for Schroder. He missed four matches in February because of exposure found by contact tracing.

It’s unknown if Schroder has received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Lakers had several meetings about the vaccine — first in December and then a few days before the organization arranged for the team to receive the first shot on April 16 — and team members were encouraged to receive it.

“We definitely pointed out to our whole team the benefits of as many guys getting vaccinated as possible. And how there’s competitive advantages to it. There’s just, for lack of a better word, lifestyle advantages of doing it,” Vogel said.

“We can do more team-oriented stuff if we reach 85% [vaccination rate]. All those types of things. Less testing. All those things were laid out very clearly for our guys and we showed all of them the benefits.

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“But at the end of the day, like I said, it’s their own personal choice and we respect that.”

The Lakers have eight games left on their regular-season calendar.

L.A. is currently the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference but has the same record as the Portland Trail Blazers (36-28), who are No. 7, making it a real possibility the defending champions could start their repeat title bid by participating in the play-in tournament.

LeBron James alluded to Schroder’s absence during his postgame remarks following the loss to the Raptors.

“I think our team is predicated on health,” James said. “That is the No. 1 thing for our ballclub. We’re a team that we need to be healthy and we need to be full. And if it’s not one thing, it’s the other. And then we show up today and the starting point guard is not in the lineup. So it’s like another blow for us.

“That’s going to be the biggest thing for us down the stretch, more than the games that we’re playing. Just how healthy we’re going to be going into the stretch run.”

The Lakers started Alex Caruso in Schroder’s place versus the Raptors. Schroder, who will be a free agent this summer, has averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds this season, his first as a Laker.

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Butler leads Heat to 4th straight win, 116-108 over Raptors

Jimmy Butler went to the foul line in the final moments of the fourth quarter Wednesday night, talking and smiling the entire time.

There’s a lot for Butler and the Miami Heat to be happy about right now.

Butler scored 27 points, 14 of them in the final quarter, and the Heat won their fourth straight game by topping the Toronto Raptors 116-108 on Wednesday night.

Butler also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Heat, plus a season-high three 3-pointers — two of them in the final minutes. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, Duncan Robinson added 17 points and Goran Dragic scored 15 in his return from an ankle injury.

“We’re just out there having fun,” Adebayo said.

It was the eighth win in the last 11 matches for the Heat, who started the season 7-14.

“Everybody that played really contributed at different points in the game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And then Jimmy’s game was the quintessential, all-around winning basketball game.”

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Kyle Lowry, returning from a thumb injury, scored 24 for Toronto. 

Fred VanVleet also had 24 for the Raptors, Norman Powell scored 17 and OG Anunoby had 14 for Toronto.

“I thought we outplayed them,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse stated. “I thought we outplayed them in almost all facets. … The ball just bounced their way a lot.”

Powell made a 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring to get Toronto within 100-98 before Butler had the game’s next three plays of any significance — a 3-pointer, a steal on the ensuing possession and a layup to push Miami’s lead back to seven.

Another 3-pointer by Butler with 3:23 left restored the seven-point edge, and Miami kept the lead the rest of the way.

“He’s our leader and we need him,” Dragic said.

Lowry scored 12 of Toronto’s first 20 points in the opening 6½ minutes, and he made a 31-footer over Miami’s zone midway through the second quarter to tie it at 48.

The next 2:51 belonged to Miami.

The Heat went on a 17-2 spurt in that time, six players scoring during the run, to open a 15-point lead and took a 66-56 edge into halftime.

Toronto scored the first 10 points of the second half, erasing the deficit, but a 17-6 answer by the Heat helped them take a 92-85 lead into the fourth. And the Raptors never led at any point in the final 31 1/2 minutes.

“It was fun to be back out there with the fellas,” said Lowry, who acknowledged that his thumb was hurting at times after contact Wednesday. “We gave it a tough fight, but we didn’t pull it out at the end.”

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Colorado Rockies vs Boston Red Sox

Colorado Rockies vs Boston Red Sox

The Eastern Conference Finals shift back north of the border as the Wine and Gold look to advance to the NBA Finals when they square off against the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 on Friday night. Tipoff from the Air Canada Centre is at 8:30 PM ET

Cleveland is an NBA-best 11-2 (.846) this postseason, which includes a 4-2 (.667) record on the road (2nd-best in the NBA).

The Cavs lead the series, 3-2, after a 116-78 victory in Game 5 of the ECF at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to make back-to-back NBA Finals appearances with a victory here. The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 106.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allowing 94.8 points on 45.4 percent shooting. LeBron James is averaging 23.9 points and 7.1 assists while Kevin Love is averaging 17.1 points and 9.4 rebounds. Kyrie Irving is dishing 4.8 assists and Tristan Thompson is grabbing 8.6 rebounds. The Cleveland Cavaliers are shooting 42.6 percent from beyond the arc and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. The Cavaliers are allowing 34.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.4 rebounds per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers have won 10 of their last 17 road games.
The Toronto Raptors need a victory here in order to force a game seven on Sunday. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 93.7 points on 42.1 percent shooting and allowing 96.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 20.9 points and 4.2 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 18.3 points and 6.1 assists. Bismack Biyombo is grabbing 9.4 rebounds and Cory Joseph is dishing 2.5 assists. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 29.7 percent from beyond the arc and 73.6 percent from the free throw line. The Raptors are allowing 34.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 40.7 rebounds per game. The Toronto Raptors have won 12 of their last 14 home games.

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Raptors starters: PG Kyle Lowry (17.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 34.2 minutes), SG DeMar DeRozan (23.6 points, 36.4 minutes), SF DeMarre Carroll (7.0 points, 26.3 minutes), PF Luis Scola (4.0 points, 14.8 minutes), C Bismack Biyombo (6.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 32.3 minutes).

Cavaliers starters: PG Kyrie Irving (23.0 points, 3.6 assists, 34.1 minutes), SG J.R. Smith (11.0 points, 30.6 minutes), SF LeBron James (24.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 2.2 steals, 35.6 minutes), PF Kevin Love (14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 28.3 minutes), C Tristan Thompson (5.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 28.4 minutes).

 

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Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 8:30 pm (Quicken Loans Arena)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 8-0 straight up and 5-3 against the spread through the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs. The Cavaliers will try to extend their postseason unbeaten streak to nine games with a win over the Toronto Raptors in Cleveland this Tuesday night.

The Toronto Raptors head into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. 

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Schedule

Eastern Conference Finals schedule

  • Game 1: Tuesday, May 17: Raptors at Cavaliers, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: Thursday, May 19: Raptors at Cavaliers, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Saturday, May 21: Cavaliers at Raptors, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Game 4: Monday, May 23: Cavaliers at Raptors, 8:30 p.m.  ET
  • Game 5: Wednesday, May 25: Raptors at Cavaliers, 8:30 p.m.  ET*
  • Game 6: Friday, May 27: Cavaliers at Raptors, 8:30 p.m. ET *
  • Game 7: Sunday, May 29: Raptors at Cavaliers, 8:30 p.m. ET*
    *if necessary

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The Raptors will be full of confidence after blowing by the Heat in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Kyle Lowry was really struggling with his shot for the entire series, but came good in Game 7 to lead the team with 35 points, nine assists and four steals while DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 28 points on 12 of 29 shooting as the Raptors beat the Heat by 116-89 on Monday. DeMarre Carroll is yet to really have a breakout game in these playoffs as he continues to deal with a tweaked ankle and bruised left wrist while Jonas Valanciunas remains without a timetable for his return, so that’s just going to put more pressure on the Raptors’ backcourt duo of Lowry and DeRozan to shoulder the majority of the scoring burden.

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The Cavaliers are completely healthy and fully rested after sweeping the Hawks in the Conference Semifinals over a week ago. LeBron James led from the front with averages of 24.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game for the series, Kyrie Irving averaged 21.3 points and 6.3 assists while Kevin Love averaged 19.0 points and 13.0 rebounds. As a team, the Cavs averaged an impressive 10.7 made 3-pointers during the regular season, but they ramped it up to a ridiculous 16.8 made 3-pointers per game during the playoffs thanks largely to JR Smith who is leading the team with an average of 3.9 makes per game.

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The Raptors enter this series as significant underdogs. NBA odds currently list the Cavaliers as -743 favourites to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals with the Raptors priced at +379 underdogs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened as 10.5-point favourites for Tuesday’s Game 1.

In ATS trends, the Raptors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, while the Cavs are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall

Head to head, the Raptors are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Cleveland and the road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings overall.

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Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat

Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat

The Raptors are back in Toronto after dropping a disappointing 94-87 overtime loss in Miami, allowing the Heat to tie up the series at two games apiece. With the best of seven series essentially a best of three now, Toronto hopes to take advantage of home court in Game 5 at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.

The Heat and Raptors are one extra session away from tying the record for the most overtime games in a series.

The Miami Heat were able to level the series at 2-2 with a hard-fought 94-87 overtime win over the Raptors on Monday. Dwyane Wade led the charge with a game-high 30 points on 13 of 24 shooting while Joe Johnson and Goran Dragic added 15 points each as the Heat battled hard to come back from a late nine-point deficit to force overtime where they would dominate by 11-4. Hassan Whiteside was absent for the game so coach Spoelstra inserted Amar’e Stoudemire into the starting lineup but he played just 12 minutes as the Heat relied heavily on smaller lineups to spread the floor for Wade to attack the basket.

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The Toronto Raptors were playing without their leading big man in Jonas Valanciunas who has been key to their success in this series. Bismack Biyombo stepped into the starting role and had a double-double of 13 points with 13 rebounds, DeMarre Carroll also added 13 points while Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph chipped in with 14 points each, but the Raptors once again needed so much more from their All-Star backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan who disappointed mightily with combined figures of just 19 points on six of 28 shooting.

Key matchup:

DeMarre Carroll vs. Dwyane Wade.

It will fall to Carroll to try and slow Wade, who had 30 points in Miami’s Game 4 win and is averaging 27 points per game in the series. Of Miami’s 94 points in Game 4, Wade, Joe Johnson and Goran Dragic (15 each) accounted for 60 of them. Keeping Wade in check — a historically challenging task — will be crucial to the Raptors taking Game 5.

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Miami Heat At Toronto Raptors

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Miami Heat (52-37) at Toronto Raptors (60-29)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)

The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat collide in Game 1 at the Air Canada Center on Tuesday.

The Heat looked down and out after falling behind by 3-2 in the first series against the Hornets, but they regrouped in time and got the job done in a dominant 106-73 Game 7 win to book them a ticket into the second round. Dwyane Wade led from the front with averages of 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the series, Hassan Whiteside averaged 13.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game, while Goran Dragic averaged 14.1 points and 4.3 assists per game and had himself a game-high 25 points in Game 7 on Sunday. As a team, the Heat averaged 99.1 points per game while allowing just 90.3 points per game in the first round.

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The Raptors will also be entering this series fresh off a Game 7 victory, beating the Pacers by 89-84 in a thriller on Sunday. DeMar DeRozan shot just 31.9 percent from the field for the seriers, but he came good when it really mattered as he led the team with 30 points on Sunday, but the same can’t be said for Kyle Lowry who averaged 13.9 points and 7.6 assists per game but shot just 31.6 percent for the series. Jonas Valanciunas found himself in foul trouble in almost every game of the series, but he still managed to put up solid averages of 13.6 points and 11.9 rebounds per game and he’ll be required to do the same when he’s matched up with the Heat’s Whiteside.

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Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors

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The Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors meet Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The Nets are looking to avenge a 91-74 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 6, when they scored a season-low 74 points. Brook Lopez recorded game-highs with 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, but 19 turnovers doomed the Nets, especially during a third quarter comeback bid.

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The Brooklyn Nets could use a nice win after losing five of their last six games. The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 95.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting and allowing 103 points on 46.5 percent shooting. Brook Lopez is averaging 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while Joe Johnson is averaging 11.4 points and 3.6 assists. Thaddeus Young is grabbing 9.2 rebounds and Shane Larkin is dishing 3.6 assists. The Brooklyn Nets are shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc and 75.7 percent from the free throw line. The Nets are allowing 35.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.9 rebounds per game. The Brooklyn Nets have lost seven of their last 10 road games. Willie Reed is questionable.
The Toronto Raptors look to keep rolling after winning six of their last nine games. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 100.3 points on 44 percent shooting and allowing 96.8 points on 43.5 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 22.6 points and 4.6 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.8 points and 6.4 assists. Jonas Valanciunas is grabbing 8.9 rebounds and Cory Joseph is dishing three assists. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and 79.6 percent from the free throw line. The Raptors are allowing 37.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44 rebounds per game. The Toronto Raptors have won seven of their last 10 home games.

Probable starters

Brooklyn: Donald Sloan, Wayne Ellington, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez

Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jonas Valanciunas

Key matchup:

Brook Lopez vs. Jonas Valanciunas. The Nets centre is about the team’s only redeeming quantity, averaging 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots a night and should be a load for Valanciunas to handle; last time they met, Valanciunas had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

 

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Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets

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Toronto Raptors (21-15) at Brooklyn Nets (10-24)
NBA Basketball: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm (Barclays Center)
The Line: Brooklyn Nets +5.5 — Over/Under: 198.5
The Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets square off Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

In the first meeting against the Brooklyn Nets this season, the Toronto Raptors will try to reassert themselves after two heart-wrenching losses on a back-to-back.

The Toronto Raptors prepare for the second contest of a five-game road trip against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday evening, the team has is left with more questions than answers. Fresh off back-to-back disappointing losses to the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors have looked like anything but the club that was seemingly hitting its stride as the calendar turned to 2016.

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The Toronto Raptors look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 100.3 points on 43.7 percent shooting and allowing 97.6 points on 43.6 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 22.9 points and 4.3 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.7 points and 6.5 assists. Jonas Valanciunas is grabbing 9.1 rebounds and Cory Joseph is dishing 2.9 assists. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 35.6 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. The Raptors are allowing 37.3 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 13.7 turnovers per game. The Toronto Raptors have won six of their last 10 road games. DeMarre Carroll is questionable with a knee injury.

The Brooklyn Nets need a big win after losing seven of their last 10 games. The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 97.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting and allowing 103.2 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Brook Lopez is averaging 19.8 points and 8.6 rebounds while Thaddeus Young is averaging 16 points and 9.3 rebounds. Jarrett Jack is dishing 7.4 assists and Bojan Bogdanovic is grabbing 3.9 rebounds. The Brooklyn Nets are shooting 31.1 percent from beyond the arc and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. The Nets are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.4 turnovers per game. The Brooklyn Nets have lost seven straight home games. Joe Johnson is questionable with a quad injury.

The Raptors are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Wednesday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Nets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Wednesday games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games. The Raptors are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

Probable starters

Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jonas Valanciunas.

Brooklyn: Shane Larkin, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez.

Key matchup: Brook Lopez vs. Jonas Valanciunas.

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Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers

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Toronto may still be in for a far more difficult rematch than its season-opening win over Indiana, though it would have been much more obvious about two weeks ago.

The Toronto Raptors hope to build on their current four-game winning streak. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 100.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting and allowing 96.2 points on 42.8 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 21.4 points and 4.2 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 21.6 points and 6.3 assists. DeMarre Carroll is dishing 1.3 assists and Luis Scola is grabbing 5.9 rebounds. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the free throw line. The Raptors are allowing 36.2 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.3 turnovers per game. The Toronto Raptors have won four straight road games.

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The Indiana Pacers look for a nice victory after splitting their last eight games. The Indiana Pacers are averaging 103.5 points on 44.3 percent shooting and allowing 99.9 points on 44.3 percent shooting. Paul George is averaging 27 points and eight rebounds while C.J. Miles is averaging 15.4 points and 1.3 assists. George Hill is grabbing 4.2 rebounds and Monta Ellis is dishing 4.8 assists. The Indiana Pacers are shooting 38.6 percent from beyond the arc and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. The Pacers are allowing 34.8 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 16.7 turnovers per game. The Indiana Pacers have won five of their last six home games.

The Raptors are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Pacers are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 vs. Eastern Conference and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games. The Raptors are 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Indiana and 38-18 ATS in the last 56 meetings overall.

The Pacers have been struggling with four losses in their last five games following a 12-2 stretch and look to start turning things around Monday night against the streaking Raptors in the opener of their three-game homestand.

Indiana’s 106-99 loss at Toronto on Oct. 28 kicked off an 0-3 start to the season before Paul George heated up and sparked a tear that put the Pacers one-half game behind first-place Cleveland in the Central Division.

The last time these two teams met it was the opening game of the season for both. By night’s end the result of the game would spearhead each teams’ start to the season with the Toronto Raptors going on a 5-0 start while the Pacers lost 3 in a row

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