Season Series: Rockets 1-0
The Toronto Raptors were a completely different team the last time they saw the Houston Rockets. At the Toyota Center on November 11th, 2013, the Raptors came out on the losing end of a seemingly never-ending 110-104 double-overtime decision.
Rudy Gay led the team in scoring with 29 points, but needed to hoist 37 shots to get it. DeMar DeRozan shot just 6-for-25 in the game and Kyle Lowry was 6-for-16 from the floor on a night when the Raptors shot 33 percent as a team. It wasn’t pretty, but there were signs of the heart and resiliency that has become their trademark this season.
Despite putting up 30 more field goal attempts than the Rockets, the Raptors couldn’t overcome their struggles offensively. Having Rudy Gay, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross foul out as the game went on didn’t help.
Facing a Rockets team that lost to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, Toronto hopes to split the season series with Houston and get back on track after a tough loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night.
What To Watch
Dwight Howard’s absence: In Toronto’s first meeting with Houston, Howard delivered an 18-point, 24-rebound performance. The Raptors will dodge a bullet on Wednesday night as Howard will not be in uniform because of a sore ankle.
Toronto’s point guard situation: After taking a hit from LeBron James in Monday’s game, Kyle Lowry’s status for Wednesday is unknown. With the team needing to get Lowry (and, to a lesser extent, DeMar DeRozan) some rest before the postseason begins, the play of Greivis Vasquez and Nando de Colo has already become increasingly important. If Lowry is set to miss any time, this will only only intensify.
Free throws: The last time these two teams met, DeMar DeRozan made 10 of his 11 free throw attempts. Against the Heat on Monday, DeRozan attempted just one free throw despite averaging 7.9 attempts per game. DeRozan is seventh in the league in attempts per game. The only shooting guard ahead of him? Houston’s James Harden. Harden is averaging 8.7 attempts per game and was a perfect 16-for-16 from the line in Houston’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
“Kyle no matter what his injury is, no matter what type of feeling he’s having or what his body is telling him he can do, his mind and his heart pulls him through. That’s the type of mentality he has. That’s the type of mentality he brings to the team and it rubs off on all of us.” – Patrick Patterson on Kyle Lowry
“We just have to stick to our defensive principles. If we start to make little mistakes on defence, maybe helping too long or going to double team and not rotating, we’ve got to be almost perfect. Especially going into playoffs. We’ve got to clean up on that stuff.” – Amir Johnson on defensive lapses of late
“Our defensive has not been on target in the last couple of games. We’ve got to get back to that. I don’t know if it’s that time of year, I look around the scores in the league. All the scores are up and the shooting percentages are up. I don’t know if it’s dog days [or what]. I did like how our second unit came in [against Miami] and gave us energy, got us back in the game, got is back within striking distance. I love the way they’re competing.” – Dwane Casey on defensive struggles and relying on his bench
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Rockets: Jeremy Lin (G), James Harden (G), Chandler Parsons (F), Donatas Motiejunas(F), Omer Asik (C)
Injury Updates Raptors: Kyle Lowry – sore left knee (day-to-day)
Rockets: Pat Beverley – right knee sprain (out), Greg Smith – arthroscopic right knee procedure (out), Dwight Howard – left ankle strain (day-to-day), Terrence Jones – flu-like symptoms (gametime decision)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Rockets
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Raptors 104, Rockets 110 (2OT) – Nov. 11th, 2013