With Kawhi back, Spurs try to rebound versus Raptors

Tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday from AT& Center

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs will be trying to get their first win of the new year when the host the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs are coming off a tough overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks on New Years Day in Atlanta, 114-112.

It was the first game back for Kawhi Leonard after missing a couple of games with stomach problems.

He was able to score in double figures, (13 points) but was only 3 of 12 from the field.

Leonard hit a three pointer to tie the game but then missed the game winner when his fall away went around the rim, and then fell out.

Tony Parker is expecting a much sharper Leonard against the Raptors.

"He missed a lot of shots that he normally makes, that's okay, I think tonight he is going to be great and be back to his normal self," Parker said.

They are going to need a normal Kawhi, averaging 24 points a game, if they are going to be the Raptors.

They are one of the best teams in the East not to mention the league. They are second in the East behind Cleveland with a 23-10 record.

They also have one of the top backcourts in the league. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 27 points a game, while Kyle Lowry is averaging nearly 23 points a game.

"He does a little bit of everything," Parker said about Lowry. “ Mid-range, three point shots, shooting the ball very, very well from the three, a lot of different challenges."

Slowing Toronto down will be a challenge. The Raptors are third in the league in scoring averaging, 111 points per game.

"Toronto is a very good team," said Danny Green. “Very good front court and back court, a lot of offensive power, our defense has to come ready to play tonight."

The Spurs spent part of their morning shoot-a-round watching film from their loss to Atlanta, and it was a very good learning experience.

"We had some lapses last game we saw them today on film got to get better at them, learn from them," Green said. "It was a great game to learn from last game (Atlanta) we made many mistakes."

Tip-off for the Spurs matchup against Toronto will be at 7:30 p.m. It is the first meeting between teams this season.

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