Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Denver Nuggets
Records: Raptors (42-17), Nuggets (40-19)
Where to Watch
Date: March 1, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet One (Canada), Altitude or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Losers of two straight, the Toronto Raptors will look to get back on track as they embark upon a five-game Western Conference road trip that begins on Sunday as they take on the Denver Nuggets.
It's Toronto's second lengthy road trip this season; in November, the Raptors went 3-2 during a five-game trip in which multiple players would go down and miss time with various injuries. This time around, the team looks to get back a few players back into the lineup during this trip, namely Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet, three players that sat out of the team's most recent outing.
While the aforementioned three sat, Norman Powell returned to the lineup Friday against the Charlotte Hornets after sitting out for over three weeks. Powell had some good moments in his return, scoring 22 points (on 8-for-19 shooting), but the Raptors struggled to get going from the field all game and ultimately came up short to a Hornets team that's 17 games below-.500.
SIX THOUGHTS: Hornets shock Raps in Powell's return
As of Saturday night's injury report, Gasol was ruled Out for the meeting in Denver, while Ibaka and VanVelet were both marked as Questionable. Toronto will need all the contributions it can get as it visits a Denver team that is 23-7 at home this season.
Like the Raptors, the Nuggets have lost three of their last five and are coming off of a loss to the LA Clippers on Friday.
In Friday's loss, All-Star centre Nikola Jokic led the way with 21 points (on 9-for-13 shooting) and nine rebounds but the backcourt duo of Gary Harris (4) and Jamal Murray (11) combined to score 15 points on 7-for-18 (38.9%) shooting.
NEXT LEVEL. 😳#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/rYtitZ8How- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) February 29, 2020
Murray's assertiveness and aggression on the offensive end have proven to be critical to the Nuggets' success this season; In games in which he attempts - not makes - six or more 3-pointers, Denver is 20-4 - that represents half of the team's wins. On Friday, Murray attempted just three shots from beyond the arc, meaning the Canadian could look for his shot early and often Sunday.
With just over 20 games remaining, this is a big game for each team, as they are both No. 2 in their respective conferences. Denver is in a virtual tie for second with the LA Clippers while Toronto has a one-game lead over the Boston Celtics.
Don't be surprised if it's a playoff-like atmosphere with both teams looking to get back on track for the season's stretch run.
As of 5:30 p.m. ET on 3/1
- Marc Gasol (Hamstring) - Out
- Dewan Hernandez (Ankle) - Out
- Serge Ibaka (Knee) - Out
- Fred VanVleet (Shoulder) - Out
- Paul Millsap (Ankle) - Questionable
- Noah Vonleh (Ankle) - Questionable
- Toronto and Denver currently hold the second seed in the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively.
- The Nuggets have won 15 out of 23 total home games against the Raptors, including 11 of the last 15 since 2004-05
- This is the first of two meetings between the Nuggets and Raptors this month. Denver will visit Scotiabank Arena on Sunday, March 22.
- Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is a native of Kitchener, ON
- Raptors guard Matt Thomas and Nuggets guard Monte Morris were teammates at Iowa State University
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 16, 2018
Score: Nuggets 95, Raptors 86
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic - 26 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 29 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST
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