Photo Credit: Global News- AP Photo/Nick Wass
After a historic blowout win against the Golden State Warriors Friday night, the Raptors are set to carry the momentum in their matchup tonight against the Washington Wizards. The Raptors defeated the Wizards 137-115 in their previous matchup back in early February, and will look to win their ninth straight regular season matchup against the Wizards. Washington currently sits just one and a half games behind the Raptors in the East with a 17-31 record on the season.
Both teams come into tonight’s matchup looking to turn things around after similar losing skids to begin the second half of the season. The Wizards have lost 11 of their last 14 games since returning from the All-Star break, including a three-game losing streak to begin the month of April. The Raptors similarly have lost 11 of their last 13 games, but were able to break their recent four game skid with an emphatic 130-77 win against the Warriors.
The Raptors will be without Kyle Lowry for tonight’s game, who is expected to miss time with a right foot infection. With the Raps also potentially missing Fred VanVleet (strained hip flexor) and Rodney Hood (hip) who are both day to day, expect them to rely heavily on Pascal Siakam who erupted against the Warriors with a season-high 36 points on 58.3% shooting from the field. As well, expect to see some more action from newly acquired Gary Trent Jr. and rookie Malachi Flynn, who will have the responsibility of running the backcourt in the absence of Lowry and VanVleet.
The Raptors’ main priority for tonight will be to try and contain Russell Westbrook. Westbrook’s dominant play has been similar to his 2017 MVP season, as he is currently averaging 24.8 PPG, 13.5 RPG and 13.0 APG in the last seven days. The Raptors stand as one of the lowest ranked rebounding and allowed paint scoring teams in the league. They will need to focus on these areas to avoid being exploited by Westbrook on his current hot streak. The Wizards may be without All-Star Bradley Beal (right hip contusion) who has missed four straight games but is listed as questionable for tonight.
Make sure to tune in for tonight’s game with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m. EST.