San Antonio Spurs

Bell Game of the Week: DeMar DeRozan looks to continue his strong play against Toronto Raptors

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Bell Game of the Week (NBA Canada Illustrations)

DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors meet again.

On Wednesday, the Raptors host the San Antonio Spurs in the second game of a five-game homestand. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and will air on TSN 1/4.

Beyond being an important matchup between two teams hoping to make the playoffs this season - the Raptors are currently two games behind the Chicago Bulls for 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings while the Spurs find themselves with a slim lead over the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans for ninth place in the Western Conference standings - it'll mark the sixth time DeRozan will face his former team since he was traded to San Antonio in 2018.

DeRozan enters the game with career averages of 22.0 points, 7.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds on 53.8 percent shooting from the field and 90.2 percent from the free throw line against the Raptors.

Jan. 3, 2019 - Making it count

DeRozan's first game against the Raptors was one to remember.

Not only did the Spurs blow out the Raptors in a nationally televised game in the United States, winning by a final score of 125-107, DeRozan recorded his first career triple-double.

In 33 minutes of play, DeRozan posted 21 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line to go along with a career-best 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

"It really wasn't [anything]," DeRozan said after the game. "It was extremely fun going out there talking mess to my old teammates. But there wasn't [any] emotions, wasn't emotional at all for me. It was just a fun game."

This game also marked Kawhi Leonard's first game in San Antonio since the blockbuster trade. He finished with 21 points, five assists and one rebound in 32 minutes of play.

Feb. 22, 2019 - Down to the wire

DeRozan's second game against the Raptors was much closer.

DeRozan had another strong performance, leading the Spurs in scoring with 23 points while dishing out a team-high eight assists, but he committed a crucial turnover in the game's closing seconds that helped the Raptors walk away with the 120-117 win.

Leonard led the Raptors in scoring with 25 points on 8-for-23 shooting from the field.

Jan. 12, 2020 - A game of runs

Another thriller, this time ending in a Spurs victory.

Trailing 82-69 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Spurs outscored the Raptors 36-22 in the final frame to escape with the 105-104 win.

DeRozan led the Spurs in scoring with 25 points, 22 of which came in the second half. He scored 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the third quarter, followed by eight points on 1-for-2 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth.

DeRozan had one of the best plays of his career in the third quarter, throwing down a powerful one-handed dunk on Raptors big man Chris Boucher.

Jan. 26, 2020 - For Kobe

This one was bigger than basketball.

On the day NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash, DeRozan shared a moment with his former teammates before the game.

Born and raised in Compton, California, DeRozan grew up idolizing Bryant. The five-time champion even served as a mentor to DeRozan.

"I know how much he meant to me, so multiply that times a million for somebody like DeMar," Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told reporters postgame. "You just try to hug your brother in that moment and move on."

DeRozan finished with 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Dec. 26, 2020 - Coming up clutch

DeRozan came up big when it mattered the most in the first meeting between the Spurs and Raptors this season, scoring 10 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Most surprising of all? DeRozan got rolling from 3-point range, making a season-high three 3-pointers in the game, two of which came in the clutch.

DeRozan went a combined 0-for-1 from 3-point range in his first four career matchups with the Raptors.

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