Wolves-Toronto game preview
- January 8, 2012 - 11:23 PM
Preview: This is the second of three games in as many days for the Wolves, the first of two times they will play back-to-back-to-back in this lockout-shortened season. They finish this first set Tuesday at home against Chicago. ... The Raptors are in a stretch where they play seven games in nine days, including five in the next six. They entered Saturday's 97-62 loss as statistically the league's best defensive team and left it having scored the third-fewest points in team history.
Players to watch: The game is the first NBA meeting between Spanish national team guards and pals Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon. Rubio started in the 2008 Olympic gold medal game against the U.S. because Calderon was injured. Both took home silver medals after Spain lost. ... Forward Andrea Bargnani is eighth in the league in scoring (22.8) and has led the 3-5 Raptors in scoring five times so far this season. He has scored 30 or more points twice. ... The Raptors selected starting shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (15.3 ppg) ninth overall in 2009, the same year the Wolves took Rubio fifth and Jonny Flynn sixth.
Injuries: Wolves F Michael Beasley (mid-foot sprain), G Malcolm Lee (knee surgery), G Martell Webster (back surgery) and C Brad Miller (knee surgery) are out. G J.J. Barea (hamstring) will be a game-time decision. The Raptors list G Jerryd Bayless (sprained ankle), C Aaron Gray (rapid heart rate) and F Linas Kleiza (knee surgery) as day-to-day.
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