Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs Phoenix Suns
Records: Raptors (33-13), Suns (11-34)
Where to watch
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: SN 590
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
The Toronto Raptors head home to take on the Phoenix Suns on the second night of a back-to-back. The Raptors are coming off a tough defeat on Wednesday at the hands of the Boston Celtics, where they let Kyrie Irving explode for 27 points and a career-high 18 assists.
On Thursday, they'll have to take on the Suns without the services of Kawhi Leonard (rest), Kyle Lowry (rest), O.G. Anunoby (personal) and of course Jonas Vlanciunas who's still recovering from a broken thumb.
From Raptors PR:- Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) January 17, 2019
Personnel update, vs PHX: OUT - Valanciunas (injury - thumb), Lowry and Leonard (rest - load management), Anunoby (personal). QUESTIONABLE - Miles (injury - hip).
With Lowry and Leonard out it opens the door for Pascal Siakam to try and carry the offensive load after having a subpar performance against the Celtics on Wednesday. In the last two games he's played after being held to single-digit scoring, Siakam is averaging 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds shooting 49% from the field. Expect another bounce back perform from him on Thursday.
The Suns arrive in Toronto in the midst of a four-game road trip that began with a blowout loss to the Indian Pacers on Tuesday night. Despite sporting the worst record in the league, Suns' fans have had some bright spots to pay attention to this season.
Devin Booker still remains one of the league's bright young stars, DeAndre Ayton has had a solid rookie campaign and T.J. Warren has been solid all season long. Warren is coming into Thursday's matchup averaging 18.5 points, 4.1 rebounds per game - although his scoring numbers are down slightly from a season ago, he's shooting 43% from three a career-high.
The Raptors won the first of two meetings this season in Phoenix on Nov. 2 and have won three straight in the series, tying their longest streak in series history.
The Raptors won both meetings last season with both coming a week apart in December.
The Suns swept the two meetings in 2016-17, holding Toronto to 91 points in Phoenix on Dec. 29 then winning 115-103 in Toronto on Jan. 22.
The two teams split the series in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
The Suns won both meetings in 2013-14, 106-97 in Phoenix and 121-113 in Toronto.
The Raptors swept the series 2-0 in 2012-13; Toronto's first two-game sweep against the Suns since 2003-04.
Phoenix has won 20 of 28 games against the Raptors, but Toronto had won three straight after snapping a series-long 14-game streak by the Suns in 2011-12.
The Raptors' three-game winning streak against the Suns was the longest by the franchise in series history.
Phoenix has won 10 of their last 15 at home in the series.
The Suns have won 10 of their last 13 road games against the Raptors. Toronto's last four home wins in the series have come in 2004, 2012, 2014 and 2017.
On March 31, 2006, Phoenix scored a series-high 140 points, which remains the most points ever scored in regulation at Scotiabank Arena.
Last Time They Played
Date: November 2, 2018
Score: Raptors 107, Suns 98 (box score)
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals
Suns: Isaiah Canaan - 19 points, 50% from three