Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Records: Raptors (34-13); Grizzlies (19-26)
Where to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Sportsnet One
Radio: SN 590
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
The Raptors barely walked away from a game with the Phoenix Suns with a victory on Thursday night; it took a Pascal Siakam buzzer beater to get the job done, but as they say "a win is a win."
Kawhi Leonard sat out Thursday's game against the Suns but is expected back in the lineup on Saturday against Memphis. In Leonard's absence, Serge Ibaka continued his hot play finishing with 22 points and six rebounds while shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Ibaka has seen his 3-point percentage fall to just 29.2 percent this year, but to his credit, he hasn't settled for many triples this season, instead opting to attack the paint and get more looks closer to the paint. It's paid off so far as Ibaka is enjoying a career-high 16.2 points per game.
Siakam walked away the hero on Thursday and will have an interesting matchup against Grizzlies' rookie Jaren Jackson Jr Saturday.
Jackson Jr. will be recognized as one of the steals of the 2018 NBA Draft. He's averaging 13.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. If he continues to develop at the pace he's currently at, it won't be long before he's in the conversation as one of the best two-way frontcourt players in the game.
The Grizzlies as a team however have cooled off since their hot start to the season. After being in the thick of the playoff race out West, Memphis find themselves now at the bottom of the conference with a 1-9 record in their last ten games.
Forward Kyle Anderson will be out with a left ankle sprain, which is a huge loss to the Grizz as he's been a part of their most effective lineup (Anderson, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Jackson Jr and Garrett Temple) - the only lineup that has a positive net rating (+2.0).
Canadian Dillion Brooks won't get to play his annual homecoming game as he's out for the year with a ruptured ligament in his right big toe.
The Raptors are an Eastern Conference-best 12-5 (.705) against Western Conference opponents this season.
Toronto is in a stretch where they face opponents from the West in six of eight games (Jan. 17-Feb. 3).
The Raptors also have an opportunity to sweep the season series against Memphis for the third time in four seasons.
Toronto has won a season-high eight consecutive home games Dec. 19-Jan. 17.
The Raptors last loss at Scotiabank Arena was Dec. 9 vs. Milwaukee. The franchise record for consecutive home wins is 12 (two times - last: Nov. 7, 2017-Jan. 1, 2018).
Toronto improved to an NBA-best 8-1 on the second night of back-to-backs with a 111-109 victory Jan. 17 vs. Phoenix.
The Raptors have three more scheduled back-to-backs remaining, the fewest for any NBA team.
Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 33 points Jan. 16 at Boston, marking his 20th consecutive game (Nov. 27- Jan. 16) with 20+ points - a career-high streak.
Vince Carter holds the franchise-record scoring 20-or-more points in 23 straight games twice (last: Feb. 27 - Apr. 13, 2001). Leonard's 20 consecutive games with at least 20 points is the longest in the NBA this season.
Last Time They Played
Date : Nov. 27, 2018
Score : Raptors 122, Grizzlies 114 ( Recap | Box score )
Raptors : Kyle Lowry - 24 points (5-for-8 from 3-point range), six assists
Grizzlies : Marc Gasol - 27 points, four rebounds, four assists