Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets
Records: Raptors (16-17), Rockets (11-19)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, Feb. 26
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: TSN 4 / TSN 5 (Canada), AT&T Sportsnet Southwest or NBA League Pass (NBA League Pass)
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Despite a recent two-game losing streak, things are looking up for the Raptors, who have climbed back up the Eastern Conference standings after a rough start to the season.
Even in its recent losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat - on back-to-back nights, no less - Toronto has looked much more like the teams of years past, putting forth valiant late-game rallies down the stretch of each game to make its opponent sweat a bit.
In Wednesday's loss to the Heat, the Raptors welcomed Kyle Lowry back into the lineup after a four-game absence. The six-time All-Star really didn't miss a beat, finishing with 24 points (on 9-for-13 shooting), eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals in 35 minutes of action.
Good to have you back, @Klow7 pic.twitter.com/LwJ33R2Bvg- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 25, 2021
While Lowry thrived, early foul trouble resulted in a rough night for Pascal Siakam, who scored just five points (on 1-for-6 shooting) in 24 minutes of action. Siakam will look to get back on track against a Houston team that has allowed an average of 50.4 points in the paint over its last five games.
The month of February has been rough for the Rockets, who enter Friday night's meeting having lost nine in a row. It's not much of a coincidence that Houston's last win came the last time that standout centre Christian Wood was in the lineup, as he has missed the last nine games with a sprained right ankle.
Wood will miss his 10th consecutive game on Friday.
In Wood's absence, John Wall has paced Houston's offence, averaging 23.4 points and 6.5 assists while appearing in eight of the team's last nine games.
The Wall Way.- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 25, 2021
📊 17PTS pic.twitter.com/SWHfDdM6DX
As a team, the Rockets have struggled on both ends of the floor during this nine-game skid, posting a league-worst offensive rating of 101.9 and the seventh-worst defensive rating at 116.8 for that stretch.
Friday night marks a great opportunity for the Raptors to get back on track and build momentum with just four games remaining until the All-Star break.
Per the NBA's Official Injury Report at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25
Jalen Harris (G League assignment) - Out
Pascal Siakam (health and safety protocols) - Out
Dante Exum (right calf strain) - Out
Kenyon Martin Jr. (G League assignment) - Out
Kevin Porter Jr. (G League assignment) - Out
Christian Wood (right ankle sprain) - Out
Raptors vs. Rockets: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors -7.5 (-110), Rockets +7.5 (+110)
Raptors Money Line: -300
Rockets Money line: +250
Over/under: 222.5 (-110/-105)
* Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 5, 2019
Score: Rockets 119, Raptors 109
Rockets: Russell Westbrook - 19 PTS (7-27 FG), 13 REB, 11 AST, 2 STL
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 24 PTS (9-22 FG), 9 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL
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