Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets
Records: Raptors (31-12); Nets (21-22)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, Jan. 11
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
The Brooklyn Nets continue to be one of the league's biggest surprises.
Even though they've been without their leading scorer since the second week of November, the Nets are hovering around .500 at the midpoint of the season and find themselves with the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Since Caris LeVert's injury, D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie have stepped up in a big way for Brooklyn. Russell is leading the team with averages of 18.9 points and 6.8 assists during that stretch, doing so on 43.1 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from 3.
Dinwiddie, meanwhile, continues to give them a spark off the bench with almost identical numbers as Russell of 18.6 points and 5.6 assists per game.
Those two even gave the Toronto Raptors all they could handle in their first matchup this season. Russell scored a team-high 29 points in the game, 15 coming in the third quarter alone. Dinwiddie then helped the Nets force overtime by scoring eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
The Nets went on to win by a final score of 106-105 with Russell and Dinwiddie combining for 46 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.
MORE: 5 takeaways from that game
The Nets have since won 12 of their last 16 games.
The Raptors haven't been quite as hot, though they're currently riding a three-game win streak with recent victories over the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.
With a win on Friday, the Raptors will close their three-game homestand with a perfect record before taking the road against the Washington Wizards on Friday and the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Kawhi Leonard has scored 20-plus points in 17 consecutive games with the Raptors. According to Basketball-Reference, the only players in franchise history with longer streaks are DeMar DeRozan (20) and Vince Carter (23).
Kyle Lowry had one of his worst games of the season in Toronto's first matchup with Brooklyn this season. In 35 minutes, he scored three points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field. He dished out 11 assists, but he also had five turnovers.
Lowry has posted averages of 14.0 points, 7.0 assists and 3.5 steals in the two games he's played since returning from injury.
Jonas Valanciunas remains out for the Raptors with a dislocated left thumb. CJ Miles is listed as questionable, per Raptors.com.
Nets centre Jarrett Allen has been among the best rim protectors in the league. To go along with his 1.5 blocks per game, opponents are shooting only 57.7 percent against him at the rim.
The Nets also have one of the more accurate 3-point shooters in the league. According to NBA.com, Joe Harris has made half of his catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts this season.
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 7
Score: Raptors 105, Nets 106
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 32 points, four assists, four steals, three rebounds
Nets: D'Angelo Russell - 29 points, five assists, five rebounds, one steal