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

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

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

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

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