Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
Charlotte at Toronto
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, October 22, 2018
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Raptors look like the best team in the Eastern Conference less than a week into the regular season, with the continued All-Star play of point guard Kyle Lowry just as much of a key to the team's success as the addition of Kawhi Leonard. Lowry, Leonard and the Raptors will try to improve to 4-0 when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

Leonard, who was limited to nine games with the San Antonio Spurs due to a quad injury last season, averaged 27.5 points and 11 rebounds in the first two games before taking the second night of a back-to-back off on Saturday, which gave Lowry a chance to shine on his own. The 32-year-old responded with 28 points and 12 assists as Toronto pushed aside the Washington Wizards 117-113. The Hornets have a point guard capable of taking over games as well in Kemba Walker, and he is doing his best to carry the team to wins. Walker is averaging 35.3 points and 5.3 assists through the first three games and buried the game-winning free throw with 0.5 seconds left on Saturday to cap a 39-point outburst and give Charlotte a 113-112 win at the Miami Heat.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Charlotte), Sportsnet One (Toronto)

ABOUT THE HORNETS (2-1): Walker eclipsed 10,000 career points in Saturday's win - the first player in franchise history to reach that mark - and is 19-of-38 from 3-point range so far in 2018-19. "I work on my game every single day," Walker told reporters after the win over the Heat. "I had a great first half. I knew I would miss some in the second, but I had to step up, keep on being aggressive and taking those shots. Guys were looking at me like, 'Kemba, keep on shooting.' That's what I’m going to keep doing." Walker is getting some scoring help from second-year guard Malik Monk, who is averaging 14.7 points and reached double figures in each of the first three contests.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (3-0): Lowry built a solid partnership with DeMar DeRozan as the two led Toronto to the playoffs in each of the previous five seasons and is trying to do the same with Leonard. Lowry went 15-of-20 from the floor in two games with Leonard and tried to lean on his teammates on Saturday even without another star in the lineup. "I'm never going to force it," Lowry told reporters after going 10-of-21 from the floor at Washington. "Whatever happens, I stay within the game, I always trust my teammates in every situation."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Raptors PG Delon Wright (thigh) sat out the first three games and is day-to-day.

2. Hornets veteran PG Tony Parker went scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in the last two games.

3. Toronto took all four meetings last season by an average of 14 points.

PREDICTION: Raptors 119, Hornets 111
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Charlotte 2-1 W2 0-1 2-0 0-0 2-1 2-0 2-1
Toronto 3-0 W5 2-0 1-0 0-0 3-0 1-0 3-0
Last Meeting
Charlotte Toronto
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/4/18 CHA 98 TOR 103 98 46 37.6 103 50 42.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte K. Walker 27 34.8 8
Toronto D. DeRozan 19 41.2 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte D. Howard 10 2 8
Toronto J. Valanciunas 13 4 9
Assists Player  
Charlotte N. Batum 8
Toronto D. DeRozan 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte K. Walker 179 46.8 32
Toronto K. Lowry 97 51.7 20
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte N. Batum 45 3 42
Toronto P. Siakam 50 12 38
Assists Player  
Charlotte N. Batum 32
Toronto K. Lowry 35
Quickchart Matchup
Charlotte Charlotte Off vs  Toronto Toronto Defense
Charlotte Off vs Toronto - Points For 115.0 Points For
Charlotte Off vs Toronto - Points Against 106.0 Points Against
Charlotte - FG% 45.1 FG%
Toronto - FG% 40.7 FG%
Charlotte - Reb 45.3 Reb
Toronto - Reb 45.0 Reb
Toronto Toronto Off vs  Charlotte Charlotte Defense
Toronto Off vs Charlotte - Points For 115.3 Points For
Toronto Off vs Charlotte - Points Against 104.3 Points Against
Toronto - FG% 46.7 FG%
Charlotte - FG% 44.4 FG%
Toronto - Reb 48.0 Reb
Charlotte - Reb 50.0 Reb