NBA Game Preview: Raptors Vs Celtics A Battle For The East 11/16/18 - uSports.org

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TORONTO, ON - MAY 03: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball in the second half of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 3, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

NBA Game Preview: Raptors Vs Celtics A Battle For The East 11/16/18

The Toronto Raptors (12-3) head to the garden Friday to take on the Boston Celtics (8-6).

NBA Game Preview: celtics host raptors

The Raptors are currently leading the Eastern Conference but will enter tonight’s game on back-to-back home losses. With the Milwaukee Bucks (10-4) on their tail by one game, the Raptors will look to get things started quickly in this matchup to prevent a three-game losing streak.

Toronto beat Boston in the second game of the season 113-101, behind Kawhi Leonard‘s 31-point, 10-rebound effort. Serge Ibaka scored 21 points, Kyle Lowry had 15 and Danny Green added 14 points. Toronto outscored Boston 31-22 in the final quarter and held the Celtics to 40 percent shooting in the game.

The Raptors are averaging 116.5 points on 48.6 percent shooting and allowing 109.1 points on 44.5 percent shooting. Toronto is shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc and 78.7 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, they’re allowing 35.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.7 rebounds per game. Toronto is 5-1 on the road and are 1-0 against the Celtics this season.

Over 15 games, Leonard is averaging 24.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, Ibaka is averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds, Lowry is the third double-digit scorer and Pascal Siakam is grabbing 6.5 rebounds. Lowry is averaging 10.7 dimes per contest. He is also the league leader in charges drawn and has already taken ten charges this season. Lowry led the NBA in this stat a year ago, recording 37 charges taken last season.

Toronto lost to the Detroit Pistons 106-104 after leading by 19 points in the third quarter. Wednesday’s loss was the first time the Raptors have lost this season when leading to start the fourth quarter.

The Raptors’ Norman Powell will be out indefinitely with a left shoulder subluxation, C.J. Miles is listed as doubtful with a right adductor strain, and Green is listed as probable with lower back tightness.

Friday’s game against the Celtics kicks off Toronto’s second four-game road trip of the season.

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In their last matchup against Toronto, Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and Al Horford had 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. The Celtics enter tonight’s game off a 111-82 win against the Chicago Bulls (4-11). The home win came behind Irving’s 17 points, seven assists and Jaylen Brown‘s 18 points and six rebounds.

The Celtics are averaging 105.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting and allowing 101.9 points on 43.2 percent shooting. Irving is averaging 20.7 points and 5.5 assists while Jayson Tatum is averaging 15.9 points and 6.9 rebounds, Marcus Morris is the third double-digit scorer and Brown is grabbing 4.4 rebounds.

The Celtics are shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, the Celtics are allowing 31.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.5 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics have won four of their five home games this season.

For the Celtics, Jabari Bird, who got caught in an assault earlier this season, is out and the status of Morris (illness) is to be determined.

Boston plays much better at home than they do on the road and can’t afford to lose another game to the Raptors. The Celtics are 19-7 in their last 26 home games, 0-4 in their last four Friday games and 1-5  in their last six games overall.

The Raptors are 5-2  in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference and 5-12-1 in the last 18 meetings in Boston, 7-2 in the last nine meetings

The game will air on ESPN and NBSB at 7:00 p.m. EST on Friday.

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Written by Dewayne Goforth