Red-hot Raptors hit road to face Spurs

December 26, 2012, 4:04 PM

The Toronto Raptors won their fifth consecutive game Friday when they held off the Orlando Magic 93-90.

The Raptors will look to extend their longest win streak in nearly three years when they visit the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday evening.

On Sunday, the Spurs blew out their state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, 129-91 for their second-consecutive victory.


Programming note: Watch the Raptors battle the Spurs live on Sportsnet beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT.

Here are a few thoughts to consider ahead of tonight’s game:

Road woes

The schedule-makers were not kind to the Raptors to kick off the season as the club spent a good portion of the early schedule on the road and they struggled mightily.

The Raptors have won just two games on the road in 18 attempts and Wednesday night’s game in San Antonio kicks off another three-game trip for the Dinos.

They won their last outing in Cleveland but the Spurs represent a much higher class of competition. San Antonio may be a top-flight squad but they only beat the Raptors by five points when the two sides met in late-November

Raptors injury update

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry will not be in the lineup against the Spurs as the team’s medical staff would like to see him participate in at least one more full practice before he sees any game action.

Coach Dwane Casey will likely ease him back into the rotation when he is ready for action but at some point a decision will need to be made about who starts for this team as the Raptors have been noticeably better with Jose Calderon at the helm.

Meanwhile, Landry Fields has dressed for the Raptors over their past couple of games but has yet to see any game action.

Casey was hoping to see him get more practice time before inserting him into the rotation and with the Raptors in the midst of a five-game win streak, he had that luxury.

Fields may have to wait a little longer, if the Raptors continue to roll in San Antonio as rookie Terrence Ross and veterans Mickael Pietrus and Alan Anderson have all been playing well.

Still no word yet on the status of Jonas Valanciunas.

The Raptors rookie centre could miss up to a month after breaking his finger in Friday’s win over Orlando.

While Valanciunas is sidelined, look for Amir Johnson to start in his place with Aaron Gray seeing minutes as well.

A season ago, Casey rotated the two depending on the matchup but Johnson has had a solid start to the season so he may have earned the nod.

Not your poppa’s Spurs

The Spurs made a club-record 20 three-pointers against the Mavericks on Wednesday night.

It was a record (19) that had been set just 15 days earlier against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The team has made 257 three-pointers on the season, which is second behind the New York Knicks, who are well on the way to a single-season record.

“That’s what we do,” Tony Parker told the San Antonio Express-News. “We move the ball. We try to get the best shot possible.”

As advanced metrics continue to come into play, more teams will likely begin to fire away from downtown, especially if they shoot as well as the Spurs have (38.7 per cent from beyond the arc).

Common sense says, it is more valuable to make 35 percent of your shots when they are worth three points than it would be to hit 50 percent of your two-point shots.

No rest for the wicked

Contrary to popular belief, life isn’t always glamourous for professional athletes.

The Toronto Raptors flew to San Antonio on Christmas Day and worked out in the Spurs practice facility Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday’s game:

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