Game Preview: Raptors @ Nets

Update: Morning shootaroud video with Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and injury updates from head coach Dwane Casey below…

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NBA.com Preview | Raptors Game Notes | Nets Game Notes

The Raptors aim to get back on track in an important divisional matchup against the Nets in Brooklyn tonight (7 PM, TSN, Sportsnet 590 The FAN)

Terrence Ross was the story for the Raptors on Saturday with a career-high and franchise-tying 51-point performance, but it came in a costly 126-118 loss to the Clippers.

That defeat reduced the Raptors’ lead over the Nets in the Atlantic to just two games and Brooklyn has since cut that by another half-game with a win over Boston on Sunday. Win tonight and the Raptors could potentially find themselves back in third in the Eastern Conference with a little separation again in the Atlantic. Lose and a slide back to seventh place starts to become plausible with a trip to the West Coast looming.

Adding to the challenge of facing a Nets team on a roll will be the absence of DeMar DeRozan, who suffered a left foot and ankle injury on a nasty looking landing after a jumper Saturday.

 



 

Patrick Patterson, who suffered a broken nose against the Clippers on Friday, did travel to New York and is expected to play. Tyler Hanbrough also is with the Raptors in Brooklyn, but no word yet on if he’s any closer to returning after a 13-game absence with a left ankle injury.

For the astoundingly durable DeRozan, it’s going to be just his ninth career game missed due to injury over five NBA seasons and it remains to be seen if that’s going to be an extended absence.

DeRozan’s been a big part of the Raptors building a 7-2 record against Atlantic Division foes so far this season. He’s averaged 25.3 points in nine divisional contests and 26.5 points in two games against the Nets.

How Does Ross React Post-51?

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That’s a photo of Ross traveling to Brooklyn with the game ball from his “51 game”, which will be a gift for his mom. Tonight presents Ross with a first opportunity for an encore since that incredible, unexpected performance and while duplicating that output is unrealistic, the hope is that it was a breakthrough.

To put Ross’s performance on Saturday into context:

– tied franchise record for points (with Vince Carter at 51)
– nearly doubled his previous career-high of 26 points
– set franchise marks for most threes in a quarter (5) and in a half (7)
– Joins Donyell Marshall as only other Raptor to hit at least 10 threes in one game
– first player in NBA history to score 50 points in a game while averaging less than 10 points per game, as per Elias
– Joins Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant as only players to score at least 50 this season

No DeRozan tonight clearly hurts, but it could provide increased opportunity for a young player starting to hit his stride. Keep an eye on how Ross responds in an important game on the road tonight.

Projected Starters

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)

Clippers: Sean Livingston (G), Alan Anderson (G), Joe Johnson (G), Paul Pierce (F), Kevin Garnett (F)

Injury Updates

Raptors: Landry Fields – Right wrist surgery (Out), DeMar DeRozan – Sprained left foot (Out), Patrick Patterson – Broken nose (Questionable)

Nets: Brook Lopez – fractured right foot (Out)

By The Numbers: Raptors @ Nets


Team Comparison
2013-14 AVERAGES 2013-14 RANKINGS
TOR BKN   TOR BKN
PPG 99.2 97.3 PPG 18 21
FG% .437 .449 FG% 23 16
3FG% .364 .367 3FG% T-12 T-9
FT% .770 .762 FT% 7 13
OFF 12.0 9.9 OFF T-8 21
DEF 31.5 30.4 DEF 20 T-23
REB 43.4 39.9 REB T-13 28
AST 20.4 20.8 AST 21 T-17
STL 7.0 7.4 STL T-26 T-16
TO 13.7 14.0 TO 9 11
BLK 4.4 4.1 BLK T-20 T-27

Last Time They Met: Raptors 96, Nets 80 – Jan. 11, 2013

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