Wednesday NBA preview: Toronto Raptors at Denver Nuggets

Two promising bigs square off. Denver’s Nikola Jokic, 22, is already being heralded as one of the league’s best young front-court performers, most recently scoring 28 points with eight assists in Denver’s loss to the New York Knicks on Monday. Raptor Pascal Siakam has had a successful road swing filling in while Jonas Valanciunas, Serge Ibaka and Lucas Nogueira have been sidelined with injuries. He racked up a career-high 20 points in last Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors and 18 in Friday’s win over the Lakers, before cooling off a bit in Monday night’s win over the Trail Blazers (six points, five rebounds).

NEED TO KNOW

Valanciunas (sprain left ankle) and Ibaka (swollen right knee) practised Tuesday and are listed as probable. . . . There will be more than one Canadian connection: Denver guard Jamal Murray and forward Trey Lyles hail from Kitchener and Saskatoon, respectively.

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