It seemed clear when the Bruins’ mindset shifted Tuesday afternoon. Up 1-0 in the second period against the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins doubled their advantage on a Joakim Nordstrom goal that came following a scramble in front of the net. That was just 4:27 into the middle stanza, and from there the Devils had…Bruins Notes: Bruce Cassidy Questions Effort After Ugly Loss Vs. Devils — NESN.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Welcome home, Justin Holl. Read MoreLeafs sign deserving Justin Holl to three-year extension — Toronto Sun
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (21-14-5 – 47 Points) vs.
MINNESOTA WILD (19-16-5 – 43 Points)
DECEMBER 31, 2019 ▪ 6:00 PM EST
XCEL ENERGY CENTER (ST. PAUL, MN) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ONTARIO ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050
MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus MINNESOTA
|ALL-TIME RECORD:||11-11-0-1 (23 Games)|
|ALL-TIME ON THE ROAD:||3-6-0-1 (10 Games)|
MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus MINNESOTA
|GAMES PLAYED:||Jason Spezza (30), Tyson Barrie (29), John Tavares (16)|
|GOALS:||John Tavares (7), Jason Spezza (5), Tyson Barrie (4), Jake Muzzin (4)|
|ASSISTS:||Morgan Rielly (10), Tyson Barrie (10), Jason Spezza (10)|
|POINTS:||John Tavares (15), Jason Spezza (15), Tyson Barrie (14)|
|PENALTY MINUTES:||Tyson Barrie (12), Alex Kerfoot (10), Jason Spezza (8)|
MAPLE LEAFS – WILD TEAM STATS
|GOALS FOR (Rank):||141 (1st)||124 (t-14th)|
|GOALS AGAINST (Rank):||129 (26th)||132 (t-28th)|
|POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):||26/109 [23.9%] (7th)||22/126 [17.5%] (21st)|
|PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):||89/117 [76.0%] (26th)||89/114 [78.0%] (24th)|
|SHOTS (Rank):||1356 (4th)||1151 (27th)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):||2055 (2nd)||1696 (23rd)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):||53.0% (4th)||48.6% (22nd)|
|FACEOFF % (Rank):||52.6% (t-3rd)||48.4% (26th)|
MAPLE LEAFS – WILD NOTES
|FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS:||Oct. 25, 2000 (Toronto 6, Minnesota 1)|
|ALL-TIME RECORD:||11-11-0-1 (23 Games)|
|ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME:||8-5-0-0 (13 Games)|
|ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD:||3-6-0-1 (10 Games)|
|LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT AT HOME:||Dec. 1, 2018 (Toronto 5, Minnesota 3)|
MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. WILD
|Tyson Barrie||First NHL point (Assist) (Feb. 13, 2014 at MIN)|
|Michael Hutchinson||First NHL game (April 7, 2014 WPG vs. MIN)|
First Maple Leaf game (Jan. 3, 2019 vs. MIN)
|Morgan Rielly||200th NHL point (Assist) (Dec. 1, 2018 at MIN)|
200th career NHL assist (Oct. 15, 2019 vs. MIN)
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
|POWER PLAY POINTS||13 (Matthews)|
|SHORTHANDED POINTS||2 (Engvall, Kapanen)|
|FACEOFF WIN%||59.5% (Gauthier)|
|5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %||56.0% (Nylander)|
|BLOCKED SHOTS||69 (Muzzin)|
|TOI PER GAME||24:23 (Rielly)|
|PP TOI PER GAME||3:04 (Marner)|
|SH TOI PER GAME||3:03 (Ceci)|
MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES
|Frederik Andersen||– Is 10-4-0 on the road this season with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.|
– Has made eight career appearances against the Wild and is 5-3-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.- Tied for the NHL lead in wins (19).- Second in the NHL in saves (890) and second in even-strength saves (750).- Fourth in the NHL in shootout saves (11).
|Tyson Barrie||– Averaging 14.6 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time, which is the sixth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have appeared in 30 games.- Averaging 7.6 shots on goal per 60 minutes of ice time, which is the fifth-highest average among NHL defencemen who have appeared in 30 games.|
– Has been on the ice for the seventh-most shot attempts for (777) among NHL skaters.
– Has an on-ice shot attempt differential of plus-132, which is 11th among NHL defencemen.
|Cody Ceci||– 10th among NHL skaters in shorthanded time on ice (122:05).- Has played 62.0 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time, which is the 11th-highest shorthanded time on ice percentage among NHLers who have appeared in at least 30 games.|
|Justin Holl||– Has started 46.2 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the lowest mark among Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.- Has an unblocked shot attempt percentage of 53.9 percent at 5-on-5, which is the highest percentage among Toronto defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games.- Has a 5-on-5 on-ice goals-for percentage of 54.7 percent, which is the highest percentage among Maple Leafs defencemen.|
|Michael Hutchinson||– Has made 11 appearances against the Wild, his most against a single opponent, and posted a 4-5-1 record with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.- Second among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in 10 or fewer games in saves (250).|
|Zach Hyman||– Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.0 percent, which ranks eighth among Toronto skaters who have played 20 games.|
– Averaging 15:46 per game in even-strength ice time, which ranks seventh among Maple Leafs. – Has played 51.5 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time since returning to the lineup on November 13, which ranks 18th among NHL forwards and first among Maple Leafs forwards in that span.
|Kasperi Kapanen||– Has scored nine goals this season, which is tied for 11th most among NHLers with no power play goals.- Tied for seventh among Toronto skaters in even-strength points (7-9-16).- Has recorded 16 (7 goals, 9 assists) of his 21 points in 21 road games this season.|
|Alex Kerfoot||– Played 23 shifts on December 28 vs. New York, which ties his single-game high for shifts this season. – One of two Toronto forwards to have recorded at least 20 hits (29) and 20 blocked shots (25) this season.|
|Mitch Marner||– Averaging 1.30 primary assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is eighth among NHLers who have appeared in at least 20 games.- Tied for 14th in the NHL in primary assists (16). His 16 primary assists are the most among NHLers who have appeared in less than 30 games.- Second in the NHL in takeaways (45).- Ninth among NHL forwards in shifts per game (25.5).|
|Auston Matthews||– Second among NHL skaters in goals (26).- Leads NHL skaters in even-strength goals (20).- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (18).- Tied for 10th among NHL skaters in even-strength points (20-13-33).- Ninth in the NHL with 144 shots on goal.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 62.9 percent at 5-on-5, which leads Toronto skaters and is tied for 11th among NHLers who average at least 15 minutes per game in 5-on-5 ice time.|
|William Nylander||– Has recorded 11 primary assists, which is fourth among Toronto skaters. – Averages 1.04 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks second among Toronto skaters.- One of 20 NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 and a goal per 60-minute rate of at least one (1.04).- Has recorded five points (3-2-5) in six games against Central Division opposition.|
|Morgan Rielly||– Tied for 17th among NHL defencemen in points (3-22-25).- Tied for 10th among NHL defencemen in even-strength points|
(3-15-18).- Fourth among NHL defencemen in assists recorded at 5-on-5 (14).- 13th among NHL skaters in TOI per game (24:23).- Eighth among NHL skaters in shifts per game (28.6).- Averaging 14.4 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks seventh among NHL defencemen who have appeared in at least 30 games.
|Jason Spezza||– Averaging 2.37 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters.- Averaging 1.18 primary assists per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time in 2019-20, which ranks second on the Maple Leafs and is the 13th-highest average among NHLers who have appeared in at least 25 games.|
|John Tavares||– Named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the week ending Dec. 29 after recording seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in three games, including a pair of three-point performances.- Averaging 17.3 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest average among NHL centres who have appeared in 20 games.- Averaging 9.2 shots on goal at 5-on-5 per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks 10th among NHL centres who have appeared in 20 games.- Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 55.2 percent, which ranks third among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 20 games.|
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
|Tyson Barrie||Has assists (4) and points (1-4-5) in three consecutive games.|
|Kasperi Kapanen||Has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games.|
|William Nylander||Has assists (2) in two consecutive games and goals (3) and points (3-3-6) in three consecutive games.|
|John Tavares||Has assists (6) and points (2-6-8) in four consecutive games.|
|Alex Kerfoot||One point from 100 NHL points|
|William Nylander||Five points from 200 NHL points|
|Frederik Andersen||20,000 career minutes (December 28 vs NYR)|
|Adam Brooks||First NHL game (December 28 vs. NYR)|
|Andreas Johnsson (Leg)||On injured reserve.|
|Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)||On injured reserve.|
|Trevor Moore (Concussion)||On injured reserve.|
|Jake Muzzin (Foot)||Is week-to-week with a broken foot sustained on December 27 at New Jersey.|
|Man Games Lost: 83|
|December 30||Loaned defenceman Timothy Liljegren to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).|
|December 30||Recalled defencemen Teemu Kivihalme and Timothy Liljegren from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).|
|December 29||Loaned forward Kenny Agostino and defenceman Timothy Liljegren to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).|
|December 28||Recalled forward Kenny Agostino and defenceman Timothy Liljegren from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).|
Placed forwards Ilya Mikheyev and Trevor Moore on injured reserve.
|December 27||Recalled forward Adam Brooks and defenceman Martin Marincin from the Toronto Marlies (AHL)|
UPCOMING GAMES (all times Central)
1/4 vs. WPG 1 p.m. – FSN, KFAN 100.3 FM
1/5 vs. CGY 6 p.m. – FSN, KFAN 100.3 FM
1/9 at CGY 8 p.m. – FSN Plus, KFAN 100.3 FM
INJURIES Mikko Koivu (lower body) – 12 Greg Pateryn (IR – lower body) – 11 Jason Zucker (lower body) – 6 2019-20 Total Man Games Lost: 95 UPCOMING MILESTONES Mikko Koivu – 497 career assists Zach Parise – 395 career assists RECENT TRANSACTIONS 12/30 – Reassigned F Nico Sturm to Iowa (AHL); Activated F Mikko Koivu from Injured Reserve
SERIES NOTES VS. MAPLE LEAFS
All-Time Wild Record: 12-11-0 (7-3-0 at Xcel Energy Center, 5-8-0 at Toronto) 2019-20: The Wild fell in its first season meeting against the Maple Leafs, 4-2, at Scotiabank Arena (10/15)…C Luke Kunin and C Gerald Mayhew each scored for Minnesota…G Devan Dubnyk stopped 30-of-34 shots…D Morgan Rielly led Toronto with four assists…RW Mitchell Marner recorded three points (1-2=3)…LW Andreas Johnsson tallied two points (1-1=2)…G Frederik Andersen made 27 saves.
WILD LEADERS: C Eric Staal leads the Wild with 51 points (24-27=51) in 48 games against Toronto…RW Mats Zuccarello owns 22 points (10-12=22) in 18 contests…LW Zach Parise has 22 points (12-10=22) in 35 matches…C Mikko Koivu owns 11 points (4-7=11) in 18 contests…LW Marcus Foligno owns 11 points (3-8=11) in 27 games.
WILD GOALIES: Dubnyk is 6-4-1 with a 2.84 GAA, a .908 SV% and one shutout in 12 games (11 starts) vs. the Maple Leafs…G Alex Stalock earned a 28-save shutout in his only career action against Toronto (12/14/17).
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS: C Jason Spezza leads the Maple Leafs with 15 points (5-10=15) in 30 career games against Minnesota…C John Tavares owns 15 points (7-8=15) in 16 matches…D Tyson Barrie has 14 points (4-10=14) in 29 contests.
MAPLE LEAFS GOALIES: Andersen is 5-3-0 with a 2.53 GAA and a .915 SV% in eight career starts vs. the Wild…G Michael Hutchinson is 4-5-1 with a 2.60 GAA and a .908 SV% in 11 games (seven starts).
CONNECTIONS: Minnesota Assistant GM Tom Kurvers collected 55 points (15-40=55) and 37 PIM in 89 contests with the Maple Leafs in parts of two seasons (1989-1991)…Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau was drafted in the third round (42nd overall) by Toronto in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft…He skated in 134 games with the Maple Leafs, collecting 69 points (27-42=69) over six seasons (1976-82)…Wild Assistant Coach Darby Hendrickson was selected by Toronto in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and skated in 233 games with the Maple Leafs (1994-99)…D Greg Pateryn was selected in the fifth round (128th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Maple Leafs…D Justin Holl hails from Tonka Bay and skated in four seasons with the University of Minnesota (2010-14).
FAST FACTS: Minnesota is 9-3-0 in its last 12 games against Toronto, including a seven-game win streak (11/13/13-12/7/16)…The Wild has scored one goal or less in seven of its 11 all-time losses to the Maple Leafs…In its 11 wins, Minnesota has outscored Toronto, 38-17, including a Wild shootout goal.
RISING RANKS – The Wild is 13-5-4 in its last 22 games, including its season-best 11-game point streak (8-0-3) from Nov. 14-Dec. 5. The Wild’s 30 points rank T-2nd in the NHL since Nov. 14. – Minnesota is 15-7-5 in its last 27 games – the 35 points rank T-6th in the NHL since Nov. 2, four points shy of first. – The 11-game point streak is the second-longest in franchise history – the longest point streak in team history is 13 games (12-0-1), Dec. 2-29, 2016.
GOALS, GOALS, GOALS – The Wild has totaled 40 goals in the second period in the last 27 games, ranking first in the NHL since Nov. 2. Minnesota ranks third in the NHL with 49 goals in the second period this season. – Minnesota has netted a season-high four goals in a single period, three times – twice in the third period this season. – Minnesota ranks T-1st in the NHL since Nov. 2 with 95 goals (including a Wild shootout goal) and fifth in goals per game (3.52). – Minnesota tied its franchise record of eight goals scored in a game Dec. 19 at Arizona. It was the fourth time in team history the Wild notched eight goals,
second on the road (last, 3/25/04 at CHI). HOME SWEET HOME – Minnesota plays 18 of its 25 games from Dec. 28-Feb. 29 at Xcel Energy Center – the second-most home games played in the NHL in that time frame (OTT – 19 home games). – The Wild is 10-3-3 in 16 home games this season – the 16 home games are the fewest in the NHL. The three regulation losses are tied for the third-fewest in the League. – The Wild has totaled three-plus goals in 13 of its 16 home games this season, including a shootout goal. – Minnesota recorded its second-longest home point streak in team history with a 12-game home point streak from Oct. 20-Dec. 14 (9- 0-3). The third-longest home point streak in the NHL this season (BOS, 17 games; NYI, 13 games).
NO STAALING – Eric Staal was named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Monday. It will be his sixth career All-Star appearance, second with the Wild (2018). – He has 11 points (7-4=11) in the last nine games, ranking T-4th in the NHL in goals and T-12th in scoring since Dec. 12. – He owns at least one point in 21 of the last 33 games, including a season-high six-game point streak (10/26-11/7), a season-high three-game goal streak (12/12-12/15) and seven multi-point contests.
DUBNYK RETURNS – Devan Dubnyk is 2-1-0 in his last three starts with a 2.36 GAA, a .926 SV% and one shutout. He is also 4-1-1 in his last seven games (six starts) and is 4-2-2 in nine games (eight starts) at Xcel Energy Center this season. – The 6-foot-6 backstop made a season-high 40 saves Dec. 27 at COL, his eighth 40-plus save game in a Wild sweater – the third-most by a Wild goaltender in team history. He owns 19 career 40-plus save games and is 14-1-4 in those contests. – The native of Regina, Saskatchewan, recorded a 22-save shutout Dec. 23 vs. CGY, his first shutout of the season.
EASY PARISE – Zach Parise owns five points (1-4=5) in the last six games and 13 points (6-7=13) in the last 17 games, including a season-high fivegame point streak (Nov. 25-Dec. 3). – The Minnesota native has 21 points (11-10=21) in the last 27 games and leads the team in PPG (5), ranks second in GWG (3) and shots, and is T-3rd in scoring.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT – Ryan Donato netted his eighth goal of the season Sunday and owns 10 points (7-3=10) in his last 16 games. He ranks second on the Wild in goals since Nov. 25. The Boston, Mass. Native, owns seven points (5-2=7) in the last 11 games, including a season-high four-game point streak. His four-game point streak included a career-high three-game goal streak (12/7-12/12). – Joel Eriksson Ek is on a three-game point streak (1-2=3), tying his career-high three-game point streak for the third time, second this season. The 22-year-old owns a career high in assists (12) and is one point shy of tying his career best (16) set in 75 games during the 2017-18 season. – Kevin Fiala has seven points (2-5=7) in the last eight games and 15 points (4-11=15) in the last 18 games, including three multi-point games. The 23-year-old ranks second on the Wild in scoring since Nov. 23. – Jordan Greenway has three assists in the last five games and five points (1-4=5) in the last nine games. The 22-year-old registered his first career Gordie Howe hat trick Dec 12 vs. EDM. He became the seventh and youngest NHL player to record a Gordie Howe hat trick this season. – Luke Kunin owns three points (1-2=3) in the last three games and six points (3-3=6) in the last nine contests, including two multi-point games. The Chesterfield, Mo. native, is one point shy of tying his career-best 17 points in 49 games last season. He ranks third on the Wild in shots on goal, tallying at least one shot in 35 of his 39 games this season.
POSITIVE IMPACT – Jonas Brodin owns nine helpers and a plus-11 rating in the last 13 games, ranking T-5th in the NHL in plus/minus rating since Dec. 3. – He owns 11 assists in the last 15 games and 14 points (1-13=14) in the last 22 contests. – The Karlstad, Sweden native, ranks second on the Wild with a plus-10 rating, third with 16 assists and fourth with 53 blocked shots this season.
SUTE UP – Ryan Suter owns nine points (2-7=9) in the last nine games, ranking T-4th amongst NHL defensemen in scoring since Dec. 12. He has 17 points (3-14=17) in the last 20 games, including four multi-point contests. His 14 assists since Nov. 19 rank second amongst League defensemen. – He leads the Wild in assists (21; T-10th amongst NHL blueliners), TOI/gm (25:07; seventh in the NHL) and PPP (9) and ranks second in scoring and T-2nd in multi-point games (6).
DR. SOUCE – Carson Soucy owns eight points (4-4=8) in the last 13 games, ranking T-4th amongst NHL rookies in goals and scoring since Dec. 3. His plus-13 rating since Dec. 3 ranks T-2nd in the NHL. – The Viking, Alberta native, leads the Wild and ranks second amongst League rookies (T-14th overall) with a plus-16 rating this season. – He owns five goals this season ranking fourth in team history for most goals scored by a rookie defenseman. – The 25-year-old netted his first career shorthanded (empty-net) goal Dec. 14 to became the sixth defensemen in franchise history to record a SHG.
NORWEGIAN FORCE – Mats Zuccarello notched his 10th goal of the season on Dec. 27 and has five points (3-2=5) in the last six contests. – He has 11 points (6-5=11) in the last 13 games, including a three-game goal and point streak (12/3-12/7). – The winger owns 16 points (7-9=16) in the last 20 games, ranking T-3rd on the Wild in scoring since Nov. 19.
STALOCK FOR THE SAVE – Alex Stalock is 6-3-2 in his last 11 starts with a 3.13 GAA and a .900 SV%. – The 32-year-old is 8-4-2 in his last 15 starts and has made 12 of his 18 starts this season on the road. – He is 15-6-5 in a Wild sweater at Xcel Energy Center with a 2.30 GAA, a .919 SV% and one shutout in 28 games (24 starts) since 2016. Minnesota Wild:
RAPTORS NOTES • The Toronto Raptors wave goodbye to 2019 when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night at Scotiabank Arena. This is the second meeting between the two teams this month, with the Raptors taking the first contest 133-113 on Dec. 16. Kyle Lowry finished with 20 points and 11 assists, while Serge Ibaka contributed 14 points off the bench in the victory. Toronto has won four in a row against the Cavaliers at home. Lowry is averaging 20.3 points and 8.3 assists over his last three games vs. Cleveland. Toronto won the season-series against the Cavaliers in 2018-19, taking three of the four games. It was the Raptors first season-series win vs. Cleveland since 2015-2016.
• Kyle Lowry finished with 20 points in Sunday night’s tilt against Oklahoma City. It was the seventh time over the last eight games that Lowry has scored 20+ points. In those eight contests, Lowry is averaging 24.0 points, 8.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 39.6 minutes of play.
• Patrick McCaw has scored in double figures in three of his six games as a starter (Dec. 20-28). McCaw is averaging 9.5 points, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals over this stretch. He is also shooting .450 from three point range (9-for-20) as a starter. In his last two contests, McCaw has posted a .619 field goal percentage (13for-21) and is shooting .556 from behind the arc (5-for-9).
• Serge Ibaka recorded his second straight double-double and sixth of the season with 12 points and a season-high 14 rebounds Sunday night vs. Oklahoma City. All six of Ibaka’s double-doubles have come in December with four occurring over his last six games. Over this span, Ibaka is averaging 16.0 points and 9.3 rebounds while posting a .539 field goal percentage (41-for-76).
• Marc Gasol (left hamstring; strain), Pascal Siakam (groin; stretch) and Norman Powell (left shoulder; subluxation) were all injured Dec. 18 at Detroit. Toronto is 3-3 over the last six games without them. The Raptors are averaging 109.8 points and shooting .458 (235-for-513) from the field during this span.
• Terence Davis ll is one of the five rookies who’ve played in every game for their team this season, along with Darius Bazley (Oklahoma City), Darius Garland (Cleveland), Kendrick Nunn (Miami) and Coby White (Chicago). Only two rookies have played in every game of a season for the Raptors: Vince Carter in 1998– 99 (which was a lockout-shortened 50-game season) and Matt Bonner (2004–05).
• Kyle Lowry needs 100 assists to tie Jose Calderon (3,770) as the Raptors’ all-time leader in assists. Lowry is already the franchise leader in 3-point field goals (1,291), steals (773) and playoff victories (37). Lowry has recorded 10+ assists 110 times – second most in team history behind only Calderon (141).
• Toronto concludes its busiest month of the season tonight with its 16th game in December. This month’s schedule included three back-to-back sets. The Raptors’ 11 games at Scotiabank Arena tie the franchise record for most home games in a calendar month – Toronto also played 11 games at home in March 2016. The Raptors will play 10-of-15 games on the road in the month of January.
• The Raptors held Oklahoma City to 98 points in Sunday night’s loss. It was the 12th time this season that Toronto has limited its opponent to fewer than 100 points. The Raptors are 10-2 in those contests.
F – PATRICK McCAW #22
MIN: 26.6 REB: 2.5 AST: 1.8 STL: 1.3 TO: 1.3 BLK: 0.1 PTS: 6.3
• Recorded 13 points and two steals in 37 minutes of play Dec. 29 vs. Oklahoma City. • Averaging 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 32.0 minutes in six games as a starter. • Has played at least 20 minutes in a career-long nine straight games (Dec. 14-29).
F – OG ANUNOBY #3
MIN: 29.6 REB: 5.7 AST: 1.6 STL: 1.1 TO: 1.3 BLK: 0.8 PTS: 11.0
• Finished with six points, five rebounds and one steal in 26 minutes Dec. 29 vs. Oklahoma City. • Toronto is 14-3 this season when Anunoby scores 10 or more points (Last: 15 – Dec. 23 at Indiana). • Averaging 10.7 points (.457 FG%), 5.8 rebounds and 29.1 minutes through 15 games in December.
C – SERGE IBAKA #9
MIN: 24.8 REB: 7.9 AST: 1.3 STL: 0.5 TO: 2.0 BLK: 1.0 PTS: 13.8
• Posted sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds Dec. 29 vs. OKC. • Averaging 16.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 31.4 minutes in six games as a starter. • Has scored in double figures in 13-of-15 games in December; averaging 13.7 points this month.
G – KYLE LOWRY #7
MIN: 38.1 REB: 5.0 AST: 7.5 STL: 1.2 TO: 3.4 BLK: 0.4 PTS: 20.8
• Scored 20 points with five assists and three rebounds in 39 minutes Dec. 29 vs. Oklahoma City. • Averaging 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 39.3 minutes through 14 games in December. • Has scored 20+ points in seven of the last eight games (Dec. 16-29); averaging 24.0 points during this stretch.
G – FRED VANVLEET #23
MIN: 36.5 REB: 3.9 AST: 6.9 STL: 2.2 TO: 2.5 BLK: 0.3 PTS: 18.2
INJURY REPORT Marc Gasol (Left hamstring; strain) – Out Dewan Hernandez (Right ankle; sprain) – Out Norman Powell (Left shoulder; subluxation ) – Out Pascal Siakam (Groin; stretch) – Out Matt Thomas (Left middle finger; distal phalanx fracture) – Out.
CAVALIERS’ LAST GAME STARTERS
POS NO. PLAYER HT. WT. G GS PPG RPG APG FG% MPG
F 16 CEDI OSMAN 6-7 230 19-20: 32 32 9.9 3.3 2.2 .428 28.7
F 22 LARRY NANCE JR. 6-7 245 19-20: 29 5 8.4 7.2 1.5 .495 24.6
C 13 TRISTAN THOMPSON 6-9 254 19-20: 31 31 12.8 10.1 2.3 .503 31.3
G 2 COLLIN SEXTON 6-1 192 19-20: 32 32 17.9 3.3 2.4 .448 30.6
G 10 DARIUS GARLAND 6-1 192 19-20: 32 32 11.3 2.0 2.9 .399 28.2
After defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves by a score of 94-88 on Saturday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers will wrap up their three-game road trip this New Year’s Eve when they take on the Toronto Raptors. This is the second of three matchups between the two teams this regular season (Jan. 30 at CLE).
• Cleveland enter tonight’s game as winners of four of their last five games, limiting their opponents to a combined .437 shooting from the field and outrebounding them by 10.0 boards (50.0-40.0) over that stretch (since Dec. 18). In Saturday’s victory at Minnesota, the Cavs held the Wolves to 88 points and an opponent season-low .355 (33-93) shooting from the field, including just 8-37 (.216) from three. Cleveland also outrebounded Minnesota 61-39 (+22), their biggest differential of the season and most since a 23-rebound edge (60-37) versus Charlotte on Nov. 13, 2018.
• The Wine & Gold’s 61 rebounds against Minnesota was a season-high (prev. 60 vs. MEM on Dec. 20). The last time Cleveland had that many rebounds in a game was over five years ago (61 at PHI on Feb. 18, 2014).
• UPCOMING MILESTONES:
TRISTAN THOMPSON (428 BLK) is 3 blocks away from passing Roy Hinson (430 BLK) for 6th place in franchise history. COLLIN SEXTON (1,944 PTS) needs 56 points to reach 2,000 for his career.
• DARIUS GARLAND, who had a game-high tying 18 points, three assists and two steals in 29 minutes at Minnesota, also set a career high in FG% on Saturday night (.727, 8-11). In the first meeting against Toronto (Dec. 16), Garland finished with 20 points (7-14 FG, 4-8 3FG), five assists and two steals in 38 minutes of work. He has also poured in at least 14 points in four of the last six games.
• COLLIN SEXTON also recorded 18 points on Saturday, to go along with a season-high tying seven rebounds and one steal in 34 minutes. Over the last eight games, he is averaging 19.6 points (.484 FG%, .829 FT%), 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.25 steals in 31.5 minutes (since Dec. 12). In the first matchup versus the Raptors, Sexton posted a team-high 25 points (10-16 FG), five rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes of play.
• TRISTAN THOMPSON is coming off of his team-best 16th double-double of the season on Saturday (12 PTS, season-high tying 15 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK, 8-10 FT, 35 MIN). He has grabbed 10+ rebounds in four of the last five games, averaging 12.0 rebounds to go with 10.2 points and 2.0 assists in 33.2 minutes over that stretch (since Dec. 18). He also had a solid outing in the Dec. 16th game in Toronto (18 PTS, 9-14 FG, 8 REB, 3 AST, 32 MIN).
• KEVIN PORTER JR. has scored in double figures in a career-high three straight games, averaging 13.7 points on .517 (15-29) shooting from the field, a .818 (9-11) mark from the foul line, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 26.0 minutes during that span. Porter Jr. has seven double-digit scoring performances in the month of December after having two in October/November.
LARRY NANCE JR. had a near double-double in the win at Minnesota (9 PTS, 4-7 FG, 9 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 31 MIN). As a starter this season (five games), Nance Jr. is averaging 12.0 points and 10.8 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per night.
• In his two games as a Cavalier, Dante Exum is shooting .600 (6-10) from the field and averaging 8.5 points and 1.50 steals in 15.7 minutes.
Why the Celtics aren’t anywhere close to panic-mode following loss to Raptors BOSTON – The Boston Celtics will tell you, their loss to Toronto Saturday had more to do with their lack of effort than anything else. Because of that, they are nowhere close to panicking about the loss which snapped the team’s five-game winning streak. […]Why the Celtics aren’t anywhere close to panic-mode following loss to Raptors — High Velocity Sport
The Maple Leafs will end the calendar year the way they started — with a game against the Minnesota Wild. Read More…Injuries change Leaf lineup for last game of ’19 — Toronto Sun
Sheldon Keefe’s Maple Leafs can put the puck in the net. With one game remaining before the calendar turns to 2020, it’s time for the Leafs to tighten up defensively. Outscoring opponents at the midway point of the season with regularity provides excitement for Leafs Nation, but the Leafs — and this isn’t exactly a […]Leafs’ goal-scoring ways need to be offset by defensive tightening — Toronto Sun
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Canada’s humiliating loss to Russia just keeps getting worse. Veteran forward Joe Veleno will miss Monday’s critical World Junior Championship showdown with Germany after being suspended one game for what the International Ice Hockey Federation’s disciplinary panel deemed to be a headbutt during a second period altercation with Russian defenceman Daniil […]Canadian forward Veleno suspended one game for headbutt against Russia — Toronto Sun
John Tortorella sure knows how to put on a show. The Blue Jackets head coach, who’s notorious for his feisty postgame rants, lost his cool after Columbus’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. And he placed the blame for the loss directly on the officials. Tortorella was unhappy about how the officials…John Tortorella Throws Epic Tantrum Over Clock Mismanagement In Overtime — NESN.com
A story about several NBA players who overcome expectations and why it makes the NBA what it is todayThere’s always room for players who “weren’t supposed to be this good” — @ZachTennen Hoops Analysis
(17-15) OKLAHOMA CITY, 98 VS. (22-11) TORONTO RAPTORS, 97 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2019.
TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES
NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)
On Terence Davis losing track of the situation … Yeah, he probably did. Obviously that was an immediate foul situation once we took it inside the 24 and he was just chasing him up and it seemed like nobody could get his attention, he was kind of away from anybody on our team running up that left side there. Yeah, obviously that’s a foul situation.
On lacking the zip you had last night … I don’t know, that’s a good team, on a back-to-back it’s going to be a little sluggish out there. I thought we played pretty hard, I was pretty proud of how hard we played. Early on, I thought guys turned it over a little carelessly early, right when they checked in. We kind of got that under control and I thought we had a lot of open shots in the first half we didn’t make and I thought we had a lot of open shots in the second half we didn’t make either. I thought we fought hard, so I am really proud of the guys for that.
On playing four guards and a centre … It was more a case of I think, a little bit of shooting and again, just trying to get the guys that were playing good tonight on the floor. Terence (Davis) started to make a couple, left him, Pat (McCaw) made a couple, with one big and Kyle (Lowry) and Fred (VanVleet), and so that was probably more the case. They were collapsing down in the paint pretty hard on Fred and Kyle, so there was a lot of kick outs out to the outside and good thing, Terence hit a few and Pat hit a couple. Provided some good offensive support.
On Oshae Brissets’ defence… He has good feet, good anticipation, good feet, he moves over and gets his body in front of people and he has done it against some really good players. Last night it was switching out onto Kemba Walker a little bit, (Jayson) Tatum, Jaylen Brown and tonight Chris Paul and Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander). He has done a nice job for as little as experience as he has. It’s good, we need another wing, three-four type guy to be able to guard out there.
KYLE LOWRY (20 points, five assists)
Where did things go wrong in the last few minutes of the game? Just didn’t execute down the stretch. They made a couple of shots, we made a couple of turnovers, I did. It was a tough game. We did a good job on some defensive possessions and the ball bounced their way.
On having Patrick McCaw on the ball more the past few games? It’s been great. He’s playing with great confidence, he’s playing with the ability giving me and Freddie a little bit more opportunity to go out there and just run around a little bit more. He’s guarding the heck out of the ball, so it’s a plus for Patrick McCaw.
On the play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander… He played like he was home tonight and he’s been playing like that all year. Honestly, he’s been playing unbelievable, his confidence, his patience, his pace has been great. He knows his skill set and he knows his speed and pace and nothing can really rattle him.
PATRICK MCCAW (13 points)
On your comfort level handling the ball… Just being comfortable with the ball, making plays and being on the ball more is definitely something I have to get adjusted to. For me, it’s easy, for most of my career I’ve played on the ball, so it’s not a huge adjustment. It was fun, it was great, definitely a different feel for me but I’m getting used to it.
On defending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander… He’s a great young player. He has a bright future, all-star, superstar, his ceiling is really high. I really enjoy watching him play. It’s fun playing against him and I wish him the best of luck with his career.
On your three-point shooting… I think I’m just shooting the open ones now, not really hesitating when I catch and shoot. Usually all my threes are coming from Fred. I’m ready to shoot and that is the biggest thing for me now, I’m just shooting it, I’m not thinking about it, just letting it fly.
(17-15) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER, 98 VS. (22-11) TORONTO RAPTORS, 97 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER QUOTES
BILLY DONOVAN (HEAD COACH)
On the defensive activity of Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel… It was hard because Serge (Ibaka) is a guy that is going to pick-and-pop and he’s going to shoot threes, and sometimes he’s rolling. So those guys have to do two things, they have to provide support in the pick and roll and then they have to be able to get back to Serge when he shoots the ball. I thought both of those guys gave us a great game on both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively.
On Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being in a groove… He’s done a nice job. Besides the scoring piece of it, just to keep on putting on his brain to think about the defence, the playmaking, the rebounding because he’s got the ability to do those things. Certainly he’s, I think, finding his areas of where he can score, and is figuring out inside of our offence when there’s really good times to really go attack and be aggressive. He’s starting to figure some of those things out.
On the defensive transition… I thought the big key, considering coming back out of the Memphis game at home, they really, really hurt us in transition. Then having to go on a back-to-back and go to Charlotte with (Devonteʹ) Graham and (Terry) Rozier, and the way they are coming down the floor with their speed in the back court, we were better. Then we knew coming in here with their speed and athleticism, that we needed to be better, even more so then we were against Charlotte. So that was important and a major focus on the game was our ability to get back in transition.
SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER (32 points, seven rebounds)
What’s it like in the moments when both teams are trading baskets the whole night? Those are the best games to be a part of because it’s so competitive, every possession. When you get a 20-point lead you tend to slack off a little, things like that, but when it’s so close you can’t. Those are the (most) fun games.
On the Thunder defence… I think we just played together and played on the string, and then rebounded. Obviously, if you don’t get a rebound none of the defence and stuff matters. We just stuck with the game plan and executed.
What’s it like to put up a performance like this in front of your home crowd? It feels good, but all of it obviously wouldn’t have meant anything if we didn’t win. That was the best feeling. Knowing that we came out of here with a win, being shorthanded.
What’s the difference between the last time you came here as a Clipper? I’m less nervous. I’ve been here before. In terms of on the court, I just feel more comfortable. I’ve gotten better, I feel like, in the summer time and in the beginning of the season, and I’m just trying to continue it.
CHRIS PAUL (25 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists)
On holding Toronto to 17 points in the fourth quarter… Man, it took discipline, staying locked in. That’s a really good team over there, even with all the injuries they got. They (are) well coached, they play hard, and that’s a big win for us given this road trip.
What are close games like for the young guys on the team? They are great because when you lose those games it can be so deflating. You know, with a team like us that’s fighting night in and night out to stay above .500 it’s a great feeling because, like I said, they are the defending champs, they know how to win close games, and we pulled this one off.
On mentoring Shai… Man, he’s doing his own thing. I just stay in his ear all the time about being aggressive and staying aggressive. He’s got it all: midrange, finishes, shooting, and his defence, his defensive intensity. There was one play he was guarding Patrick McCaw, McCaw ended up scoring, but Shai’s defence was great.
FINAL SCORE: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 98, TORONTO RAPTORS 97
DATE: DECEMBER 29, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout).
FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS Oklahoma City 98 17-15 Gilgeous-Alexander – 32 Paul – 11 Paul – 8
Toronto 97 22-11 Lowry/VanVleet – 20 Ibaka – 14 VanVleet – 8
KEY RUN Trailing 85-83 with 9:42 left in the fourth, Oklahoma City scored seven straight points to lead by five with 7:46 remaining … Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s driving floater with 36 seconds left was the game-winning basket.
KEY STAT Oklahoma City held the Raptors to eight fast-break points, including just two in the second half … Toronto entered the night averaging an NBA-best 18.8 fast-break points.
RAPTORS NOTES: • With the loss, Toronto falls to 22-11 this season and 13-5 at home … The Raptors have dropped three of their last four games (Dec. 23-29), including consecutive games at Scotiabank Arena … Toronto is now 8-7 in the month of December. • Toronto finished a perfect 12-for-12 at the free throw line. • The game featured 20 lead changes, including nine in the fourth quarter. • Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 20 points apiece … Lowry has scored 20+ points in seven of the last eight games (Dec. 16-29), averaging 24.0 points during this stretch. • Serge Ibaka recorded his second straight double-double and sixth of the season with 12 points and a season-high 14 rebounds in 34 minutes … All six of Ibaka’s double-doubles have come in December. • The Raptors had five players score double figures – Lowry (20), Fred VanVleet (20), Patrick McCaw (13), Ibaka (12) and Terence Davis ll (11). • Rookie Terence Davis ll is the only Raptor not to miss a game this season. • The Raptors dropped to 3-3 without Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell.
THUNDER NOTES: • With the win, Oklahoma City improves to 17-15 on the season and 6-9 on the road … The Thunder have won six of their last seven games (Dec. 16-29), including their last two on the road. • Oklahoma City has now won its last five trips north of the border … This is Toronto’s longest current home losing streak against one team. • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tied his career high with 32 points (12-21 FG, 3-5 3PT, 5-6 FT) … He added seven rebounds in 39 minutes … Gilgeous-Alexander has scored 20+ points in each of the last six games (Dec. 18-29), averaging 27.3 points during this span … His 32 points were the most scored in game by a Canadian against the Raptors. • Chris Paul posted his fourth double-double on the year with 25 points and a season-high 11 rebounds in 34 minutes … Paul has now scored 20+ points 11 times this season. • The Thunder had four players score in double digits – Gilgeous-Alexander (32), Paul (25), Nerlens Noel (13) and Darius Bazley (12).