RAPTORS-HORNETS PREGAME NOTES

Josh Lewenberg

@JLew1050

Khem Birch will start in Anunoby’s place, with Thad Young playing a key role off the bench. Nurse said Young has picked things up quickly (“you can tell he’s been around”) and will be “vitally important” with OG out (with a broken finger).

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GAME #58 – TORONTO RAPTORS (32-25) at CHARLOTTE HORNETS (29-31)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2022 – 7 P.M. (ET) – SPECTRUM CENTER
TV: TSN – RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

The Toronto Raptors (32-25) begin a three-game road trip Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets (29-
31) at Spectrum Center. The Raptors start the second half of the season at 32-25, having already surpassed their win total from last season of 27 victories. Tonight marks the third and final regular season
meeting between these two teams, with Toronto winning the first two. Gary Trent Jr. is averaging a team-high 28.0 points against the Hornets this year.
• The Raptors defeated Minnesota 103-91 in their final game before the All-Star break, and have now won
nine of their last 11 games (Jan. 29 – Feb. 16). During this stretch, the Raptors are shooting .464 (469-
1011) from the field and .398 (148-372) from three-point range. Toronto is +22 (137-to-115) on the offensive glass over the last 11 and currently ranks second (13.1) in the NBA in offensive boards per game.
• Gary Trent Jr. scored a team-high 30 points and added four rebounds and two assists Feb. 16 at Minnesota. Trent Jr. has now tallied 30+ points with five-or-more made three-pointers eight times this season,
just one shy of Pascal Siakam’s single-season franchise record of nine games set during the 2019-2020
campaign. Trent Jr. (8), Fred VanVleet (8), Pascal Siakam (7) and OG Anunoby (1) have all scored 30+
points this season – the Raptors are 19-4 in games when they have at least one player score 30-or-more.
• Fred VanVleet has scored 20+ points in a career-high seven straight games played (Feb. 1-14), averaging
22.0 points and shooting .457 (32-70) from three-point range during this span. He sat out Feb. 10 at Houston with left groin soreness and Feb. 16 at Minnesota with a right knee contusion. VanVleet has made
201 threes this season – third most in a season in Raptors history; behind only Kyle Lowry (238 in 2017-
18 & 212 in 2015-16). VanVleet has connected on 5+ threes in a franchise record 18 games this season.
• Pascal Siakam is currently averaging 21.9 points, and career highs of 8.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists, in 44
games this season. He is one of just five players in the NBA averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0
assists, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, James Harden, and Nikola Jokic. No Raptor has
averaged 20-8-5 for an entire season.
• Rookie Scottie Barnes reached 700 career points Feb. 16 at Minnesota, becoming just the eighth Raptors
rookie to reach the milestone. Barnes (49 games) becomes the third fastest rookie to reach the 700-point
mark in franchise history, behind only Vince Carter (39 games) and Damon Stoudamire (38 games).
Barnes currently ranks fourth among rookies with 706 total points. He leads all first year players in minutes
per game (35.4), ranks third in rebounds (7.4) and fifth in both scoring (14.4) and assists (3.3).
• Reserves Precious Achiuwa (11) and Thaddeus Young (10) each scored in double figures Feb. 16 vs.
Minnesota. Toronto is now 7-1 this season in games when two or more reserves score 10+ points

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