Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
Records: Raptors (33-12); Celtics (25-18)
Where to Watch
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN & RDS2
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics meet on Wednesday for the third time this season.
The first matchup marked the second game of the season for both sides. The Celtics got off to a hot start, but the Raptors took control the rest of the way thanks to strong showings from Kawhi Leonard (31 PTS) and Serge Ibaka (21 PTS).
A month later, the Celtics got some revenge in the second of four matchups between the two teams this regular season. Leonard was fantastic once again, scoring 31 points and pulling down 15 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome a season-high 43 points from Kyrie Irving.
MORE: Can the Raptors slow down Kyrie Irving?
Both teams have had their ups and downs in the games since. After bouncing back from their loss to the Celtics with eight consecutive wins, the Raptors suffered a number of injuries to key players and went .500 from Dec. 3 to Jan. 3.
Now at full strength again, the Raptors enter Wednesday's matchup on a five-game winning streak, with recent victories over the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards. They have the best record in the NBA again, sitting one game ahead of the Bucks and three games ahead of the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Celtics have had a couple of winning streaks themselves over that same stretch - one of which lasted eight games - but they've also gone on three separate three-game losing streaks. They're on one right now, with losses to the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets in the last week.
As disappointing as those losses were, the Celtics will be looking to get back on track with a big win over the hottest team in the league.
The Celtics currently have the fifth-best record in the East, trailing the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 4 by three games.
Kawhi Leonard extended his streak of 20-plus point games to 19 with a 41-point performance against the Wizards on Sunday. He's now one more 20-plus point game away from tying DeMar DeRozan for the second-longest streak in franchise history and four away from tying Vince Carter for the most.
In 10 career games against the Celtics, Leonard is averaging 19.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Kyle Lowry played well in Toronto's first game against Boston this season, but he struggled in the second. In 42 minutes of play, Lowry scored 14 points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field and committed four turnovers.
Jonas Valanciunas continues to be out for the Raptors with a dislocated left thumb. OG Anunoby will miss the game for personal reasons, per Holly MacKenzie of Raptors.com.
Both C.J. Miles (right hip soreness) and Fred VanVleet (left thigh contusion) are listed as questionable.
Jayson Tatum is coming off of the highest scoring game of his career. Against the Nets on Monday, the sophomore scored a career-high 34 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the field.
Tatum is now averaging 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season.
Kyrie Irving missed that Nets game with a tight right quadriceps, but he will play on Wednesday against the Raptors.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Aron Baynes (left fourth metacarpal fracture) and Marcus Smart (illness) are listed as questionable for the Celtics.
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 16, 2018
Score: Raptors 116, Celtics 123 (box score)
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 31 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Celtics: Kyrie Irving - 43 points, 11 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds