NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 9th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (11-25) at Toronto Raptors (15-21), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors aim to continue their strong play in the new calendar year when they take the floor tonight against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors have won three of four games so far in January, with the most recent a 99-93 victory at Washington on Wednesday. Andrea Bargnani paced Toronto with 25 points to aid an 18-point, eight-rebound, six-assist performance from teammate Chris Bosh.
Bargnani has flourished since being inserted into the starting lineup in place of the injured Jermaine O'Neal. In the five games O'Neal has sat out due to a troublesome right knee, the former No. 1 overall pick has averaged 21.8 points and has shot a sizzling 61.5 percent (16-for-26) from three-point range.
In addition to missing O'Neal, the Raptors played Wednesday's matchup without starting point guard Jose Calderon (hamstring) and forward Jamario Moon (personal). Calderon has been inactive for three straight games with his injury.
Moon, who missed the contest because his wife was giving birth, is expected to return for tonight's clash, but O'Neal and Calderon are considered iffy to play.
Memphis comes in having dropped 10 of its last 12 games, including two in a row, and resides at the bottom of the Southwest Division standings with an 11-25 record. The team's latest setback came Wednesday in New Jersey, where Vince Carter amassed 25 points and 12 assists to lead the Nets to a 100-89 win.
O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay scored 26 and 23 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies, while Marc Gasol ended with 14 points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause.
Memphis fell to 2-14 on the road this season with Wednesday's defeat and have lost four in a row as the visitor. Toronto owns a 7-9 mark at the Air Canada Centre and has won its last two tilts on its home floor.
The Raptors swept last year's home-and-home series with the Grizzlies and have won three straight meetings against Memphis, which had taken eight in a row from Toronto prior to its current slide.
01/09 10:34:52 ET