The Toronto Raptors (53-19) look to sweep the Brooklyn Nets (35-37) on Sunday, August 23rd, in round one of the Eastern Conference playoffs. It has been smooth sailing through the first three games for the Raptors, whose average margin of victory has been 18.0 points.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series has a scheduled start time of 6:30 p.m. EST at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The game can be viewed on TNT. The Raptors are double-digit -13 point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Toronto Raptors
Toronto is the hottest team in the NBA right now, having gone 10-1 since the league restart. The Raptors are riding a seven-game winning streak in Sunday’s showdown.
The 3-0 lead is the first for the Raptors franchise in league history. A sweep would give the Raptors some rest before their second-round matchup.
Pascal Siakam paced the Raptors in scoring in Game 3. The power forward scored 26 points on 11-of-23 shooting while adding eight rebounds. Fred Van Fleet added 22 points, and Serge Ibaka came off the bench scoring 20 and grabbed 13 boards. Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell each chipped 11 points apiece.
The Raptors shot a sizzling 50.5 percent from the floor (46-for-91), including hitting 18-of-38 three-point field goals. Toronto also outscored the Nets 46-22 in the paint.
What to Know – Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn is 0-3 and on a 4-game losing skid. The last time the Nets saw themselves down 0-3 was in the first round of the 2005 playoffs to the Miami Heat. However, Brooklyn has shown resilience this season playing without their best players to find their way into the playoffs.
Tyler Johnson scored a career-high 23 points going 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from the arc. Caris LeVert poured in 15 while rookie Chris Chiozza came off the bench to score 14.
The Nets shot 33.3 percent (30-for-90) from the field in Game 3, including just 31.4 percent (16-for-51) from the 3-point line. Brooklyn has averaged just 100.3 points during the first three games of the season.
The Nets will again be without the services of Joe Harris, who left the bubble to attend to a family emergency. With Harris unavailable, the Nets are now without nine players, including all-stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Pick is In
A 13-point point spread is pretty rare in the NBA playoffs. However, the line is warranted, given the current trends between both teams. The Nets have been banged up since the restart and are missing many key pieces to make a legit playoff run.
A 3-0 hole is tough for a team to dig yourself out of, so it will take a lot of heart from the Nets players to keep this one close. The Raptors should build a sizable lead early and never look back.
Take the Raptors -13 in this one.