NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (11-14) at San Antonio Spurs (21-6), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs are coming off a rare home loss
and will try to bounce back Monday versus the Toronto Raptors.
The Spurs opened a three-game homestand with Saturday's 113-100 loss to Kevin
Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant, the NBA's leading scorer with
28.1 points per game, was held to 17 points, but Russell Westbrook ended with
31 on 13-of-22 shooting.
Tony Parker carried the Spurs with 23 points, while Marco Belinelli and Tim
Duncan scored 17 points apiece for San Antonio, which had won two straight
and six of seven games. The Spurs and Thunder were knotted at 21-21 after the
first quarter, then OKC posted a 40-29 advantage in the second stanza.
"Our demise was the second quarter," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "We
gave up 40 points."
San Antonio was without starting forward Kawhi Leonard, who underwent a dental
procedure prior to the game. Leonard hadn't missed a game this season and is
questionable versus the Raptors.
The Spurs are 9-3 at home this season and will wrap up the stay Christmas Day
versus the rival Houston Rockets.
Toronto was able to hold off the Thunder its last time out in a 104-98 road
victory Sunday. Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and both DeMar DeRozan and Amir
Johnson netted 17 apiece.
Johnson also grabbed 13 rebounds and John Salmons scored 14 points for the
Raptors, winners in two straight and four of five games.
Durant scored 24 points and Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 27.
"You don't hold a guy like Kevin Durant down like that too many times," said
Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. "He had a quiet 24 but he had to work for each
one of them."
The Raptors are 2-0 on a four-game road trip, 7-6 outside Air Canada Centre
and will close the junket Friday against Atlantic rival New York.
Toronto sustained a 116-103 home loss to the Spurs on Dec. 10 and has lost six
in a row, seven of eight and 20 of the last 25 meetings between the teams. The
Raptors have also lost four straight and 13 of their 17 games in the Alamo
12/23 10:27:28 ET