NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 19th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (37-29) at New Orleans Pelicans (27-39), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors have dropped two straight and will
try to get back on track Wednesday night when they visit the Smoothie King
Center to take on the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Raptors fell at home to the Phoenix Suns and lost on the road to the
Atlanta Hawks during this mini swoon. Toronto's lead in the Atlantic Division
is just 2 1/2 games over the Brooklyn Nets and the Raptors' advantage over the
Chicago Bulls for the third seed in the Eastern Conference is down to a half-
On Tuesday, the Raptors fell in overtime to the Hawks at Philips Arena,
DeMar DeRozan paced Toronto with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds and
Kyle Lowry contributed 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the loss,
their second straight on the road.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 16 points, while Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross each
chipped in with 11 points for Toronto.
Toronto had the ball with under 20 ticks to play in the extra session and
trailed by two when Johnson turned the ball over after an offensive foul.
Atlanta sealed it at the free throw line to continue its late season surge to
maintain its playoff position.
"(In the overtime) we got stops but you got to able to score," said Toronto
coach Dwane Casey. "I thought DeMar (DeRozan) did a good job of playing out of
the double-team they were committed to, had some open looks, but again, you
got to knock those down, you got to make those plays and we had trouble doing
The Pelicans halted a two-game slide last time out, a 121-120 overtime victory
Sunday night over the Boston Celtics. That pushed New Orleans to 3-2 on this
six-game homestand, which comes to an end Wednesday night.
Anthony Davis posted 40 points and 21 rebounds to carry the Pelicans. Davis
surpassed his career-highs in points and rebounds while also becoming the
first player in Pelican history to record a 40-point/20-rebound game.
"I'm just trying to stay locked in. Every game, coach talks about being great.
Anthony Morrow tells me, 'Be great every game.' I just go out there and do the
things for us to win. As long as we get the win, that's all that matters to
me," said Davis.
Tyreke Evans scored 26 and Eric Gordon added 19 points and eight assists for
the Pelicans. Evans scored five of his 26 in the extra session to help New
Orleans to victory.
The Pelicans visit the Hawks on Friday, then play four in a row in the Big
The Raptors have won five straight against the Pelicans, including this
season's only matchup, a seven-point win at the Air Canada Centre on Feb. 10.
Toronto is 5-2 in its last seven meetings as the visitor in this series.
03/19 10:27:16 ET