The Toronto Raptors have taken advantage of their light schedule in the month of January as fans have hoped. Coming off of a dominating 101-81 win over the Miami Heat, the Raptors will look to extend their win streak to eight as they matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers for the second and final meeting of the season.
Right from the jump, the Raptors trampled on the injury riddled Heat not giving them any sympathy. DeMar DeRozan was close to unstoppable on the night, pouring in 33 points making it his third consecutive 30+ point night this season. The Raptors are currently on a seven game win streak, making it their longest in franchise history since 2002.
Key’s to the game:
Contain Chris Paul
Chris Paul is still one of the best point guards in the NBA and if the Raptors look to take come out of this game victorious, CP3 cannot have himself a game. The last time these two teams met, the Raptors held Paul to 13 points on 38.5 percent shooting from the field while also getting him in foul trouble early. In the month of January, CP3 is averaging a scorching 21.1 points & 11.6 assists. Contain this wizard type assassin tonight and things will become much easier on both ends of the court.
Control the glass
The Clippers are ranked in the bottom half of the league in rebounding tallying 51.5 a night, despite having the second best rebounder in the league in DeAndre Jordan who chalks up 13.3 a night. Toronto needs to get back to making their presence known on the glass as they’ve struggled to do so in the last three games, ranking 25th in the NBA. Surprisingly the Raptors are a much better rebounding team on the road than at a home. Toronto needs to translate their rebounding success on the road to tonight’s game at home.
Both the Clippers and Raptors rank top 5 in free throws attempted, the Clippers attempting 27 a game and the Raptors at 25.5. The one thing that separates these two teams at the charity stripe is that the Raptors can actually hit their free throws. The Raptors are 79.5 percent at the free throw line ranking fourth in the NBA, while the Clippers shoot an awful 69.5 percent ranking them 28th in the NBA. Not saying the Raptors should foul intentionally the entire night, but Jordan who is shooting 41.7 percent from the line, is an attractive person to foul throughout the night. #HackAJordan
X-Factor: Kyle Lowry
The last time these two teams met, Kyle Lowry struggled from the field shooting 18.2 percent. Despite also pouring in 13 points and 10 assists, Lowry needs to get into a groove early offensively to help lead this Raptors team to their eighth straight win.