Hornets-Raptors Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 09, 2013
About two weeks ago, Rudy Gay matched his worst shooting effort of the season against the New Orleans Hornets as part of a dismal slump for the Memphis Grizzlies. Now he's breathing new life into the Toronto Raptors. Gay leads the Raptors into Sunday night's home matchup against a Hornets team seeking a third straight victory behind strong play from emerging point guard Greivis Vasquez. Gay's next-to-last game with Memphis was a 91-83 loss to New Orleans (17-33) on Jan. 27 in which he shot 3 of 17 and scored 10 points. That capped an eight-game stretch in which he averaged 13.1 points and 35.9 percent shooting. Since being acquired by Toronto (18-32) on Jan. 30, Gay is averaging 24.3 points. He scored 17 of his 23 after the third quarter of a 100-98 overtime victory Friday that snapped Indiana's 15-game home win streak. "The Raptors have been playing great since I've been here, and we've been playing well with each other," Gay said. "You know, I just want to be in at the end of games where I can give the team a chance to win." Vasquez has been giving the Hornets that lately. He posted his first career triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in a 111-100 victory over Atlanta on Friday that opened a three-game trip. "This one really feels great,'' he said. "It's special because it's my first one, and with a win. I can't be satisfied. I want more, and I want to help the team win games." Vasquez has averaged 11.1 assists in his last 11 games, and he's third in the league in that department with 9.4 per contest. "A lot of NBA guys don't want to be coached," coach Monty Williams said. "They want to be babied and coddled. That kid is probably the toughest guy I've been around." Vasquez nearly recorded his first triple-double with 20 points, 14 assists and nine boards in a 104-97 overtime loss to Toronto on Dec. 28, but he won't go up against the departed Jose Calderon in the rematch. Kyle Lowry has started the last five games at point guard for Toronto with Calderon having left as part of the three-team deal that netted Gay. Lowry had 17 points, eight assists and no turnovers in the first matchup. DeMar DeRozan scored 30 in that contest for Toronto for his second-best output of the season while rookie Anthony Davis had his second-best scoring effort for New Orleans with 25. The Raptors will get their only look of the season at Eric Gordon, who missed the first meeting with knee soreness. Gordon scored a season-high 27 points against the Hawks after sandwiching nine-point efforts around a game he missed to rest the knee. Toronto is 13-9 against teams below .500, and believes it can reach the postseason. "We definitely want to finish strong before the All-Star break," forward Amir Johnson said. "We're still in the run for the playoffs, we've just got to keep playing."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker