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Live Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors, 7:30 PM EST

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets kick off a tough back-to-back set on Saturday night, as they head to Toronto to take on the 16-8 Raptors, before heading home on Sunday to play against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brooklyn once again will be without Kyrie Irving, who will miss his 14th straight game on Saturday.

The Raptors have Fred VanVleet banged up, but are otherwise healthy.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (13-11) at Toronto Raptors (16-8)


WHERE: NBA TV & YES Network (tv), WFAN (radio)

Game Preview

Is this the Rondae Hollis-Jefferson revenge game? RHJ averaged 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 23.6 minutes in 234 career games (147 starts) with Brooklyn between 2015 and last season. He signed with the Raptors last summer after the Nets renounced his rights to build up their cache of cap space. He’s averaging 8.0 points per game along with 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 20 minutes a game, all off the bench. He still hasn’t solved 3-point shooting, hitting one out of every five he takes. Look for Nick Nurse to use him against Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Raptors have dropped four of their past five games while the Nets have won four of their past six. Still, Toronto has won 33 straight home game vs. Atlantic Division rivals and are 15-1 vs. Brooklyn since the 2015-16 season. Even MVP candidate Pascal Siakam has dropped off. In the past five games, they have shot 39.6 percent from the field and 27.2 percent on 3-point attempts.

For more on the Raptors, check out Raptors HQ.

I’m convinced that if Spencer Dinwiddie had a cooler name, it would be something heard in more households (thus becoming, you guessed it, a household name). Now in his sixth season in the league, Dinwiddie has stepped into the void of injuries on the Nets to claim the top spot on the roster. Yes, Kyrie is their scoring wizard, but he hasn’t been on the court in weeks. It’s been Dinwiddie and his career-best 20.8 points per game that have paced the Nets (as he and those points have done for much of the past four years).

For this month, Dinwiddie’s scoring has actually been a tick higher, at 22.8 points per game, while he’s been leading the team in assists at 7.0 per game. A crisp 47 percent shooting from the field means Dinwiddie has been doing things efficiently for the Nets as well. (His three-point shooting could use some work though; Dinwiddie is shooting 31 percent from deep on the year. But don’t worry, Joe Harris, with whom it is still on sight, is shooting 43.8 percent from three.) All of this is to suggest that despite not receiving a ton of attention from the broader league discourse, Dinwiddie has been good.