Matchup: Toronto Raptors at LA Clippers
Records: Raptors (21-7); Clippers (17-9)
Where To Watch
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 11
Time: 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Radio: TSN Radio 1050 Toronto
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Before they play the Golden State Warriors for the second and final time this season, the Toronto Raptors travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday to take on the Clippers.
The Clippers have been one of the league's biggest surprises so far this season. Once led by a trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, LA doesn't have a single All-Star on its roster - though that might change soon with the play of Tobias Harris, who is in the midst of a career-year with averages of 21.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
The Clippers are instead getting it done by committee with one of the deepest rosters in the league, featuring the likes of Patrick Beverley Danilo Gallinari, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, Montrezl Harrell and two-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Lou Williams.
Another nice surprise for the Clippers this season has been the emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was selected with the 11th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Canadian's numbers don't jump off the page, but it didn't take him long to work his way into the starting lineup on a team expecting to make the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference this season.
With how well he's already playing on both ends of the court, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Gilgeous-Alexander's name near the top of the Rookie of the Year voting by the season's end.
MORE: It's time to take notice of the Clippers
The Raptors will have to take care of business on both ends of the floor to avoid entering Wednesday's matchup with the Warriors on a three-game losing streak. Kawhi Leonard has been spectacular lately, but Kyle Lowry has been in a major shooting slump.
Following a blazing start to the season, Lowry is averaging 3.8 points on 14.3 percent shooting from the field in his last four games. He's coming off of his worst performance yet, in which he went scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
For the Raptors to get back to their winning ways, they'll need their four-time All-Star to find his touch again. He's still contributing in other areas, but they're a different team when Lowry is a scoring threat.
The Raptors are also a different team when they're getting contributions from their bench. As has been the case in almost all of their losses this season, bench scoring was a factor in their matchup with the Bucks earlier this week. While they got a season-high 19 points out of Fred VanVleet, Jonas Valanciunas, CJ Miles, OG Anunoby and Delon Wright combined for only 13 points on 5-for-19 shooting from the field.
Toronto's second unit will need to show up against LA, as the Clippers currently have the highest-scoring bench in the league.
Last Time They Played
Date: March 25, 2018
Score: Clippers 117, Raptors 106
Clippers: Lou Williams - 27 points, seven assists, two rebounds
Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas - 16 points, 10 rebounds, one block