Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Denver Nuggets
Records: Raptors (26-36), Nuggets (41-21)
Where to Watch
Date: Thursday, April 29
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
The Raptors begin what is arguably the toughest road stretch of the 2020-21 season on Thursday night when they visit the Nuggets.
After losing to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Toronto finds itself two games behind the Washington Wizards for the East's final spot in the Play-In Tournament. In their most recent loss, the Raptors struggled down the stretch as they seemingly ran out of steam on the second night of a back-to-back.
ɢᴀᴍᴇ ʜɪɢʜʟɪɢʜᴛs | @TangerineHoops- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 28, 2021
Nets | 04.27.21
▶️ | https://t.co/Q76UeDxHin pic.twitter.com/6INEh59GBp
One area of concern should be around Fred VanVleet, who admitted he wasn't feeling great physically after shooting 4-for-17 against Brooklyn. In addition to VanVleet's struggles, Pascal Siakam scored just 10 points while shooting 2-for-16 from the field against Brooklyn.
With VanVleet ruled out for injury management, it's up to Siakam to bounce back and lead the way.
While Denver is an extremely tough opponent, it is worth noting that Toronto took the first meeting of the year dominantly, earning a 24-point win back on March 24. In the five weeks since, plenty has changed.
The Nuggets have lost Jamal Murray for the season due to a torn ACL and Will Barton is out for the "foreseeable future" with a hamstring injury but the team has brought in Aaron Gordon and Austin Rivers while rookie Facundo Campazzo and second-year forward Michael Porter Jr. have stepped up their play, with Porter averaging 26.0 points and 6.6 rebounds on .588/.523/.800 shooting splits since Murray's injury.
One thing remains the same through it all: Nikola Jokic continues to play at an MVP level.
32 PTS | 8 AST | 7 REB | 3 BLK | 3 STL- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 29, 2021
Joker did a little bit of everything tonight.#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/PgLL9J99Yk
OG Anunoby will likely reprise his role as the primary Jokic defender, while Khem Birch and Pascal Siakam could also see time trying to make things difficult for the big man. As the Raptors enter Thursday with a rest advantage over a Nuggets team that saw a game come down to the wire on Wednesday night, their energy could offset the edge that comes with Denver's altitude.
Toronto will need it to keep up with Washington's pace.
As of 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 28
- Chris Boucher, sprained left knee - Out
- Jalen Harris, right hip pointer - Available
- Gary Trent Jr., lower left leg contusion - Out
- Fred VanVleet, left hip flexor recovery - Out
- Paul Watson, left knee tendinitis - Out
Raptors vs. Nuggets: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +3.0 (-110), Nuggets -3.0 (-110)
Raptors Money line: +125
Nuggets Money line: -145
Over/under: 221.0 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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