Game Preview: Raptors at Rockets

Toronto Raptors (7-5) @ Houston Rockets (11-3)

When: Tuesday, November 14th, 8 P.M. ET

Where: Toyota Center

Broadcast info: TSN1/4/5, TSN1050

LAST MEETING

The Raptors were unable to slow James Harden who delivered a 40-point triple-double to defeat Toronto 129-122 in the last meeting between these two teams. After a strong effort by Toronto, Houston trailed by four at the start of the fourth quarter, but they opened the final quarter by reeling off a 15-0 run to take control. The Raptors wouldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way, despite a 36-point effort from DeMar DeRozan. DeMarre Carroll also added 26 points for Toronto in the loss. Harden’s 40 points went along with 11 assists and 10 rebounds while Montrezl Harrell scored 28 points off the bench on 12-for-13 shooting.

LEADING INTO TONIGHT

Bounce back: Toronto is hoping to get back in the winning column after dropping a close 95-94 decision to the Boston Celtics in the first game of a three-game trip on Sunday afternoon. After a back-and-forth final quarter, the Raptors had a chance to win the game, but DeMar DeRozan’s jumper was off the mark with two seconds remaining.

Injury status: Norman Powell left Sunday’s game in the first quarter with a hip-pointer injury. He did not return to the game and his status for Tuesday’s contest is not yet known. Chris Paul is out for the Rockets with a left knee injury that has sidelined him since the first game of the season.

Familiar faces: Former Raptors reserve P.J. Tucker is in Houston now, signing with the Rockets in the offseason. Tucker has been playing the sixth man role in Houston, averaging 6.6 points, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 28.7 minutes per game, and has averaged 10.3 points on 50 percent shooting over his previous three games.

EXTRA ASSISTS

Rockets on a roll: Toronto opened their road trip against the Eastern Conference leading Boston Celtics and it doesn’t get any easier in Houston. At 11-3, the Rockets are first in the Western Conference and come into Tuesday’s matchup on a six-game winning streak, winning their previous two games by a combined 41 points.

Dominating the three: Over Houston’s current six-game winning streak, the Rockets have connected on 49 more three-pointers than their opponents and are averaging 17.8 made three-pointers per contest. The Raptors have been getting up plenty of three-pointers of their own, but will need to guard the line against Houston who is shooting 38.8 percent from deep in this six-game streak. On the season, 53.8 percent of Houston’s shots have come from beyond the arc.

Lowry putting points on the board: Kyle Lowry scored 19 points against the Celtics, connecting on 5-of-10 field goals, 3-of-8 three-point field goals and 5-of-5 free throws. His 19 points pushed him past Andrea Bargnani for sole ownership of fourth place on the Raptors all-time scoring list. On the season, Lowry is averaging 13.4 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

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