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

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

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

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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