NBA Toronto Raptors vs San Antonio Spurs Spread and Prediction

Lessons De Mar DeRozan learned in Toronto are yielding dividends on and off the court in San Antonio

Lessons De Mar DeRozan learned in Toronto are yielding dividends on and off the court in San Antonio

DeRozan shone in his first game against his former team since being traded for Leonard, posting his first career triple-double as the Spurs rolled to a 125-107 win in front of a raucous crowd energized by its anger toward Leonard. The Raptors are a bottom-third team in assist percentage, defensive rebounding percentage and are just 18th in pace.

Here are four takeaways from the game...

While Spurs fans will no doubt voice their displeasure over Leonard's departure, he insists he's looking forward to the game. San Antonio was in control from the start as DeMar DeRozan records the first triple-double of his career with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

There is every possibility that Leonard gets moved on to DeRozan should the former Raptor get hot, but the thinking is Green is more than capable of taking on the challenge DeRozan presents while freeing up Leonard to use his energy on offence, where he will be counted on heavily with Lowry expected out again.

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Kawhi Leonard returned to San Antonio on Thursday, Jan. 3 as a member of the Toronto Raptors to a crowd full of booing fans.

Green, meanwhile, expressed optimism that both he and Leonard experience a positive reception in their returns to the AT&T Center.

"I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears wearing that jersey, believing in something, and I put a lot of work in here", Leonard said Thursday morning before the Raptors had their final preparation prior to meeting the Spurs in one of the most highly-anticipated games of the season.

With the win, the Spurs move to 11-3 since December 6 while the Raptors are 7-7 in their last 14 games.

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Toronto has faced tough competition all while dealing with various injuries to key players. It kind of fuels you, kind of gets you going. People have treated him well - the community, fans and people here in San Antonio.

Conversely, the Spurs were sharp throughout the night, shooting 47-for-85 (55.3 percent) from the field and 13-for-27 (48.1 percent) from deep. The Spurs have won three straight and host Memphis Saturday.

The mood will be much different when DeMar DeRozan returns to Toronto on February 22, of course.

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