With the NBA season inching closer than ever, the Toronto Raptors will head back home to the Air Canada Centre to take care of business against the Cleveland Cavaliers for their sixth pre-season contest.
The Raptors are coming off a loss on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, which had fans in Ottawa at the edge of their seats until the final buzzer. James Johnson's 11 points and three rebounds wasn't enough to hold down the Wolves who nailed 12 of 24 from deep, which aided them to an 89-87 win.
Kyle Lowry sat out of Wednesday's meeting after his astounding performance on Monday, setting a franchise record for points in a pre-season game, finishing with 40 points on 13 of 18 shooting while adding three assists and three rebounds as well. Lowry is averaging 30.3 points while shooting 68.3 percent from the field in three pre-season games for the Raptors. While Lowry sat, Cory Joseph got the start in his place putting up five points and three assists in 18 minutes of action.
Anthony Bennett emerged for the Raptors on Wednesday. After Bennett signed with the club in late September, speculations swirled as to how he would perform for his hometown team. In 23 minutes of action, Bennett put up 10 points, eight rebounds, and three steals while shooting 75 percent from beyond the arc.
“Just doing everything I can defensively. Trying to rebound as many basketballs as possible. Just run the floor, run the plays,” said Bennett on how he approached Wednesday's game.
Terrence Ross did not travel with the team to Ottawa, as he left Monday's contest with a sore left ankle. He did participate in practice on Saturday and remains questionable for Sunday.
A player to watch on Sunday would be DeMar DeRozan. DeMar has struggled to find his rhythm yet in four pre-season games thus far, averaging 9.5 points while shooting an atrocious 29.4 percent from the field. Knowing DeMar, he'll likely snap out of this spell once the 2015-2016 season gets into gear.
Kevin Love will make his return to the lineup for the first time since dislocating his left shoulder in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics of the 2014-2015 NBA playoffs. Love signed a five-year, $110 million contract to remain with the Cavaliers this past July.
This past season, the Cavaliers were able to get a better hand against the Raptors, winning the season series 3-1. Both teams are set for three meetings this upcoming season, with two up north and one in Ohio.
Sunday's matchup should draw a bulk of viewers who are much eager for the NBA season to get rolling. Take in the showdown between the Raptors and Cavs at 6 PM EST.