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- The Toronto Raptors (5-19) notched a much-needed victory on Friday, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 95-74 and snapping a six-game losing streak. The win brought their home record to 4-5 this season, showing they are strong at the Air Canada Centre, where they’ve won 9 of their last 10 games against the Houston Rockets (11-11).
- The Rockets just won two games of their own at home, most recently on Friday, beating the Boston Celtics 101-89. Toronto is the first half of a two-game road swing and they’re hoping to tie their season-best win streak of three in a row on Sunday.
- When these two teams met on November 27, the Rockets had a convincing 117-101 victory in Kyle Lowry’s first game back in Houston. Andrea Bargnani had 21 points in the loss, unfortunately for Toronto, both starters will miss Sunday’s game due to injury Lowry (partially torn right triceps muscle), Bargnani (strained right wrist).
- While the Rockets are fueled by their backcourt starters, James Harden (24.8 ppg) and Jeremy Lin (11 ppg & 6.1 apg), both teams received strong contributions from their bench in their wins on Friday. For the Rockets, forward Greg Smith came in and scored 20 points, while guard Toney Douglas added 11. Linas Kleiza scored 20 points off the bench for the Raptors, while rookie Terrence Ross chipped in with 18.
- Marcus Morris will start for Houston in place of Patrick Patterson at the power forward spot. Patterson is out with a bone bruise in his right ankle.
– Duane Watson