Raptors face off against Canadian Murray, Nuggets on TSN
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The Raptors earned just their second victory this month on Monday against the Charlotte Hornets and will look to build off of that performance. Gary Trent Jr.’s first NBA double-double led the way for Toronto in the win.
“I was really just able to get a flow and rhythm,” said Trent, after recording a season-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. “Every game, I try to go out there and get comfortable as I can.
“Put the work in, see it coming to fruition is always a blessing.”
The win moved Toronto’s record to 11-15, tied with the Atlanta Hawks for 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Much of the Raptors’ season has felt like the team takes a step forward, then two steps back, and things won’t get easier in their matchup with Denver tonight, winners of four out of their past five road games.
The Nuggets, currently the third seed in the Western Conference, are coming off of a victory of their own, as they blew out the Dallas Mavericks 130-104 at home. Jamal Murray scored 22 points and shot a perfect 4-4 from three-point range to lead his team to the win.
The Kitchener, Ont., native has dealt with a string of injuries this year, missing 15 games after the team’s long playoff run culminated in the franchise’s first championship in early June. He made his return from an 11-game absence earlier this month and has averaged 21.0 points on 52% shooting since.
“I’m doing fine, I can’t complain,” said Murray on his injury status. “I think we’re still just trying to, not find our rhythm, but all be on the court healthy at one time.”
Nikola Jokic has been his dominant self through the first quarter of the season, averaging 26.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists through 27 games played.
In two games against the Raptors last season, the five-time All-Star averaged 22.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists. Toronto will look to limit his production as the big Serbian continues his quest for his third MVP award in four years.
For the Raptors, Christian Koloko is the only player listed on the team’s injury report. He has yet to appear this season with a respiratory illness.