Fresh off a hard-fought victory against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Toronto Raptors look to win their fifth game in the last six contests on Wednesday, against the Washington Wizards.
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The Raptors (11-13) have found success their current seven-game road trip, going 4-1 despite the absence of forward OG Anunoby. The team’s lone loss came on Saturday in a 132-121 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Head coach Nick Nurse provided an update on Anunoby on Tuesday and indicated that the 23-year-old has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game against the Wizards.
“I think it is a little touchy with it, but they’re shooting for maybe the last part of this road trip,” Nurse said. “So I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel here, and we’re hopeful to get him out on this trip.”
He has missed seven games due to a calf injury. Anunoby is averaging 14.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season, his fourth in the NBA.
Kyle Lowry left Monday’s 128-113 win over the Grizzlies with back spasms but is not listed on the injury report on Wednesday.
Fred VanVleet has stepped up over the last seven games, averaging 23.9 points, 6.6 assists and 3.6 three pointers, including setting the Raptors franchise record with 54 points against the Magic last week. The 26-year-old has also done his part to replace Anunoby’s defence, averaging 2.7 steals per game in his absence. VanVleet will need to continue his strong defensive play against Wizards’ guard Bradley Beal, who leads the NBA in scoring with 33.3 points per game.
The Wizards (6-15) are starting a five-game home stand against the Raptors and are coming off a 105-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday. Beal once again led the team in scoring with 35 points in the absence of Russell Westbrook, who was resting on the second night of a back-to-back. Westbrook is playing his first season in Washington after being traded from the Houston Rockets for former No.1 overall pick, John Wall. The former MVP is struggling in his first year with the Wizards, averaging just 19.4 points on .437 per cent shooting. Both totals are his lowest marks since his sophomore season in 2009.
The Wizards are allowing a league-worst 120.1 points per game and have allowed over 100 in each of their 21 games this season.
Wednesday night will be the first matchup of the season between the two teams.