Game Preview: Raptors at Trail Blazers

Holly MacKenzie – Raptors.com

Toronto Raptors (3-2) @ Portland Trail Blazers (4-2)

When: Monday, October 30th 10 P.M. ET

Where: Moda Center

Broadcast info: TSN, SN590

LAST MEETING

In the last meeting between these two teams the Raptors defeated the Blazers 112-106 behind a 33-point effort from DeMar DeRozan. The victory came without Kyle Lowry who missed the game with a sore wrist. Though the Raptors got off to a slow start, falling behind by double-digits in the first half, the offence started clicking to close out the half while the defence stepped up in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Serge Ibaka scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas added 15 points. Portland was led by Damian Lillard’s 28 points in the loss.

LEADING INTO TONIGHT

Triple-double Lowry: After a slow start, Kyle Lowry rebounded with a fantastic effort in Toronto’s 101-92 victory against Los Angeles Lakers. Lowry recorded his franchise-leading eighth triple-double on Friday, scoring 11 points to go with 10 rebounds and 12 assists in 36 minutes of action. Looking ahead to Monday’s game, he needs just seven points to pass Morris Peterson (6,498) for fifth place on the Raptors’ all-time scoring list.

Injury status: The status of Jonas Valanciunas and Lucas Nogueira is still unknown heading into Monday’s contest. Valanciunas has missed all three games on this six-game road trip with a sprained left ankle. Nogueira has missed the last two games of the trip, also because of a sprained left ankle. Down two big men, the Raptors have gone small in their previous two games with Pascal Siakam joining the starting five.

Siakam shining: Pascal Siakam was inserted into the starting five following Toronto’s loss in San Antonio where Lucas Nogueira suffered his sprained ankle and he’s made the most of his opportunity. In his first start this season, he scored a career-high 20 points in a close loss against the Warriors, shooting 9-for-12 from the floor. He followed that performance up with an 18-point showing in Friday’s victory against the Lakers where he shot the lights out, making 8-of-10 field goals.

EXTRA ASSISTS

An even match: Coming into Monday’s contest, the Blazers are the sixth-highest scoring team in the NBA, averaging 111.3 points per game while the Raptors are right behind them, ranking seventh in scoring, averaging 111.0 points per game. Dwane Casey singled out Portland’s ability to quickly put points on the board. “They thrive off of runs,” he said. “They thrive off of the three-ball, seeing it go in. They can go off on a three or four basket run if you’re not careful. They’re doing a heck of job of offensive rebounding…you’ve got to find a body.” Like the previous three games on this trip, controlling the boards will be important against the Blazers.

Highlight reel: Kyle Lowry rewarded Pascal Siakam for running the floor with one of his 12 assists against the Lakers. After the game, he praised Siakam’s professionalism and approach whether he’s coming off the bench or starting, saying he has one of the best motors in the NBA.

DeMar DeRozan had the tweet of the week when he hopped on his account after playing in his 600th game in a Raptors uniform to let everyone know how he feels about the organization that drafted him nine seasons ago:

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