The Toronto Raptors made a pretty big splash at the trade deadline and hope to have all the components of a new-look lineup in place when they visit the New York Knicks on Saturday. Center Marc Gasol, acquired in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, will be with the team in New York and could make his debut with the Raptors.
The squad has also listed leading scorer Kawhi Leonard as questionable with a knee issue that kept him out of Thursday's 119-101 win at Atlanta. The victory was the third straight for Toronto, which has averaged 119.7 points during the run after posting just 92 in a loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 31. New York's losing streak reached 15 games -- one shy of matching the franchise record -- with Friday's 120-103 setback at Detroit. It has also dropped a franchise-record 15 in a row at Madison Square Garden, including five in a row by at least 12 points.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), MSG (New York) LINE: Raptors -10.5
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (40-16): Head coach Nick Nurse has indicated that he was not sure whether Gasol would start with Serge Ibaka while emerging star Pascal Siakam goes to the bench, or if one of the veterans would join the reserves while Siakam remains a starter. "I really don't know what I'm going to do until I see [Gasol] play and see what it looks like, and see what some combinations look like and make a decision," Nurse told reporters Thursday. "He's used to starting, Serge is used to starting. I think Serge has earned [it] and played his butt off this year." Siakam had a career-high 33 points and 14 rebounds in the win at Atlanta.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (10-44): Dennis Smith Jr. scored a career-high 31 points Friday night in his third game since joining the team in the Kristaps Porzingis deal while center DeAndre Jordan, who also came over from Dallas in the blockbuster trade, chipped in 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Noah Vonleh, the only Knick to play in all 54 games this season, was limited to three minutes before coach David Fizdale yanked him, later telling reporters that Vonleh "is fighting right now to get back to playing good basketball." Since scoring a career-high 22 points at Brooklyn on Jan. 25, the 23-year-old forward is averaging 4.6 points on 28.2 percent shooting over a seven-game span.
1. Siakam led seven Raptors in double figures with 23 points in a 128-112 win at New York earlier this season.
2. Smith is averaging 28 points and seven assists over the last two games.
3. Toronto PG Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 30 points Thursday after totaling 12 over his previous two games.
PREDICTION: Raptors 112, Knicks 99 Bet Now
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