The Toronto Raptors have dropped three consecutive games and will be without All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan for at least the next two contests with a sprained right ankle – including Tuesday’s matchup with the visiting San Antonio Spurs. DeRozan was injured during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 115-103 setback against Phoenix, and the current plan is for him to be re-evaluated on Friday.
Toronto’s three-game skid matches its worst since November 2015, and not having DeRozan comes at a bad time with the powerful Spurs arriving in town. “When it rains, it pours sometimes and … once you get through that part of it, it always comes out to be worth it,” DeRozan told reporters on Monday. “That’s how I always look at it. I think I’m just an optimistic type of guy, and that’s how I look at everything.” San Antonio hopes to have star small forward Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup after he missed Monday’s 112-86 trouncing of Brooklyn. Leonard injured his hand while pouring in a career-best 41 points during Saturday’s 118-115 overtime victory over Cleveland.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (San Antonio), Sportsnet One (Toronto)
LINE HISTORY: The stuggling Raptors opened up as 2.5-point home underdogs and by Tuesday morning that number was up to +3. The total hit the board at 209 but with some injury issue on both sides that number was dropped down to 206. Check out the complete line history here.
Spurs – SG M. Ginobili (Questionable, back), SF K. Leonard (Questionable, hand), PG T. Parker (Out, foot), C P. Gasol (Early March, finger).
Raptors – PF P. Patterson (Questionable, knee), SG D. DeRozan (Out, ankle).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Spurs (-12.6) – Raptors (-11.1) + home court (-3) = Raptors -1.5
ABOUT THE SPURS (35-9 SU, 26-17-1 ATS, 27-17 O/U): Starting point guard Tony Parker (foot) will miss his fourth consecutive game, but Patty Mills stepped up in his absence on Monday with 20 points – marking the third time this season he reached the plateau. Mills drained four 3-pointers against Brooklyn and is 11-of-19 from long range over his last four games. “Everyone gets excited to be able to get the chance to get out there and play, but nothing changes,” Mills told reporters. “The game plan’s still the same, what’s expected of us is the same, so it’s just that opportunity. But there is that excitement when we do it the right way, play the right way, share the ball and everyone does their little piece.”
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (28-16 SU, 26-17-1 ATS, 27-17 O/U): The home loss to the lowly Suns comes after a 113-78 drubbing against Charlotte and a loss to Philadelphia, and the locals are more than a bit concerned. “Everybody’s in panic mode right now, it’s not time to panic,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters. “We’re going through a tough time. This is part of the NBA. How you come out of this, how you fight against it, how you compete against it – that’s the most important thing.” DeRozan scored 26 points in a 110-82 road loss to San Antonio on Jan. 3, but point guard Kyle Lowry recorded a season-low six on 2-of-9 shooting – missing all seven of his 3-point attempts.
DANCE TEAM BATTLE:
* Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest.
* Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Over is 10-2 in Spurs last 12 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 13-3 in Raptors last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Toronto.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 59 percent of the picks on Covers are siding with the road favorite San Antonio Spurs and Over is picking up 62 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.