Road Warriors

The Toronto Raptors opened their season-high seven-game Western Conference road trip with a victory. On Friday night, though, they'll be looking to bounce back from a loss in the second game of the stretch when they visit the Seattle SuperSonics for the only time this season.

The Raptors (15-12), who are 7-6 on the road, opened the year-ending trip by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 80-77 on Tuesday, but followed that up the next night with a 101-96 loss to Portland.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Toronto -5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on Toronto –5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Toronto shot 50.0 percent from the field, but that wasn't enough to overcome a Trail Blazers team that won its ninth in a row.

The Raptors' trip includes stops in Phoenix, San Antonio and Houston. They don't play at home again until Jan. 4.

"We didn't play the best game and we were on a second game of a back-to-back," Raptors point guard Jose Calderon said. "But we have to look at the positive side and try to work on that."

Calderon, who had a season high-tying 19 points and nine assists against the Blazers, has emerged as a solid contributor after T.J. Ford suffered a head injury in a win over Atlanta on Dec. 11. Ford's status is still uncertain, which means Calderon should extend his run as a starter to six straight games Friday. He's averaging 13.8 points and 9.2 assists in the five games Ford has missed.

Chris Bosh is coming off another strong performance Wednesday, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while going 6-for-13 from the field. Bosh shot just 6-of-22 against the Clippers, but made 12 of 16 free throws and scored 24 points to go with nine boards.

Bosh has been dominant in his last three games against the Sonics (7-19), averaging 25.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in leading the Raptors to wins in two of those contests.

Bosh had 27 points and 10 rebounds in the clubs' last meeting, a 120-119 overtime victory for Toronto on March 11 that gave the Raptors a split of the two-game season series.

The Sonics' lineup might have a new look Friday after a pair of lackluster defeats. They were blown out 96-75 at Utah on Saturday before managing only 33 first-half points and losing 107-93 at home to New Orleans on Wednesday.

"If we can't match the other team's energy and if we can't compete on the defensive end to begin a game, then we have to think about making changes," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We need to play a lot harder and better than we played across the board."

Seattle shot 37.8 percent over those two games after making 50.3 percent from the field in the previous two contests - both wins.

One of the struggling Sonics is Damien Wilkins, who shot 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) and totaled 17 points in the last two games. He's averaging 12.2 points on the season.

Kevin Durant, Seattle's leader with 19.6 points per game, is looking to build on a strong performance against the Hornets. The rookie swingman had a team-high 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, after tying a season low with six points on 3-of-11 from the field against the Jazz.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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