Portland At Toronto
When: 6:00 PM
ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Two of the NBA’s top scoring guards attempt to follow up outstanding post-All Star break performances when the Toronto Raptors host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. Portland’s Damian Lillard poured in 33 points in the 112-103 victory at Orlando and DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 in Toronto’s 107-97 triumph against Boston with backcourt mate Kyle Lowry (wrist) out.
Lowry will be out at least a week but the Raptors got a boost from recently-acquired Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, who combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds in their debuts with the team. “It’s already a great team, great personnel,” Tucker told the Toronto Sun. “I’m just looking to add whatever they need. Different nights, different stories, different teams, it’s going to be different.” Lillard’s efforts helped the Trail Blazers win for the first time in four contests and they stand 1 ½ games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Lillard’s backcourt mate C.J. McCollum scored 29 in the 95-91 setback against Toronto on Dec. 26 - the third straight win in the series for the Raptors.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), Sportsnet One (Toronto)
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (24-33): Lillard (team-best 25.8 points) and McCollum combine to average almost 50 points and 10 assists as one of the most productive backcourts in the league. The duo was joined in key minutes Friday by little-used guard Shabazz Napier, who registered 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in a season-high 26 minutes. Center Jusuf Nurkic has made a strong impression in his first two games since being acquired from Denver, averaging 12.5 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 10 rebounds and three steals.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (34-24): Tucker supplies points and rebounds, but his biggest asset for Toronto is his defensive presence. “The guy is going to huge for is,” Toronto guard Cory Joseph told reporters. “. … I know from watching games, he guards the toughest guy on the other team nightly and he does a great job – from point guard to four men.” DeRozan is averaging 27.6 points overall and others must pitch in to make up for Lowry’s 22.8 with Joseph taking the lead Friday, recording 11 points and six assists in 36 minutes.
1. Toronto C Jonas Valanciunas averages 12.3 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field.
2. Portland F Al-Farouq Aminu (knee), averaging 8.3 points, has missed the last two games and is doubtful to return Sunday.
3. Toronto F DeMarre Carroll is 4-for-14 from 3-point range the last three games after draining 7-of-9 in the previous two.
PREDICTION: Raptors 110, Trail Blazers 98
Stats and Records
Toronto Off vs
108.4 Points For
110.0 Points Against