Toronto travel to Denver following a strong win against the Portland Trail Blazers in Oregon, winning 99-85. It was a solid performance defensively as the Raptors held the Blazers to only 39% shooting from the field and 30% from deep. DeMar DeRozan put up 25 points, while Kyle Lowry also had an impressive night, posting 19 points, ten rebounds and six assists.
They’re currently 2-2 so far on their road trip, but look to make in three wins on the bounce on Tuesday night. The Raptors are still thin at the center position, with Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas both unavailable, so Lucas Nogueira will see more minutes again tonight.
Denver went 2-2 on their four game road trip, losing the last game against a Knicks side that has been in form over the last few games. Nikola Jokic had a strong game with 28 points and eight rebounds, but a career-high 38 points from Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis proved the difference.
Keys to the game
Ball movement – The Raptors and Nuggets are fifth and sixth in the league in assists, so they should have plenty of ball movement on display in this game.
Nuggets tighten up – The Nuggets have given up an average of just over 110 points in their last five games. They need to tighten up if they’re to get consistent wins.
Raptors’ controlling pace – The Raptors have done well to control the pace against their previous opponents, holding three of their last five matchups to under 95. It’s been a strong component to their top five defense, and will be crucial if they’re to get the win tonight.
Matchup to watch
Jamal Murray vs Kyle Lowry – Lowry has been impressive across the floor so far, while Murray has finally has shown some life this season, scoring 26 and 20 points in his last two games. It will be interesting to see these two in-form point guards go at it. Lowry will try to cut Murray’s form with his defensive tenacity, but Murray has no problem going up against the best.
Toronto Raptors project lineup
PG – Kyle Lowry | SG – DeMar DeRozan | SF – Norman Powell | PF – Pascal Siakam | C – Lucas Nogueira
Denver Nuggets project lineup
PG – Jamal Murray | SG – Gary Harris | SF – Wilson Chandler | PF – Paul Millsap | C –Nikola Jokic
DeRozan has been on fire this season, posting 23.7 points per game with 48% shooting from the field. He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and should have another strong game in Denver.
The Raptors are a five point favorites in this one, and with another strong defensive performance should cover the spread.
The Raptors have found an extra gear on their road trip and look like a serious threat in the Eastern Conference. They’ll keep rolling with a win in Denver by six.
You can watch the game on local TSN and ALT channels, and on League Pass. Tip-off is at 9pm ET.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?