Will James Harden Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors: Game Prediction, Injury Updates, and Lineup

Published 04/27/2021, 11:30 AM EDT
Apr 25, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives to the basket in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


After some back and forth, the Brooklyn Nets finally stole the first spot in the Eastern Conference from the Philadelphia 76ers. Their two-game winning streak has improved their record to 41-20, but one small mistake and this could slip away. And because they are facing the Toronto Raptors next, they have reasons to be worried.

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The Raptors aren’t the best team and might not even make it to the playoffs. They are standing twelfth in the East with a 26-35 record, but have somehow always managed to get past the Nets with a victory this season. So, what does this matchup hold for us?

Brooklyn Nets injury report and lineup prediction

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The Nets had been playing without James Harden and Kevin Durant in the past week. However, KD’s return against the Phoenix Suns played a significant role in their 128-119 victory, as he ended up scoring 33 points off the bench. Thus, he will also be suiting up for their matchup against the Raptors.

Before their bout with the Suns, the Nets were winning only alternate games. And now they will be hoping that Toronto doesn’t break their momentum. Kyrie Irving was the lead scorer who finished the night with 34 points. After him, it was Blake Griffin who chipped in with 16 points.

Apr 25, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dunks in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Harden won’t be returning anytime soon. However, their injury list for this matchup is also a long one. Alize Johnson, Nicolas Claxton, and Bruce Brown have also been ruled out.

This leaves the lineup to be Jeff Green, Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Landry Shamet.

Toronto Raptors injury report and lineup prediction

The Toronto Raptors are fighting tooth and nail to at least get themselves into the play-in tournament. Although they are still 1.5 games behind the Washington Wizards from taking the tenth spot, they have won the last five of their six games.

Also, the Raptors have experience beating Brooklyn this season. In their first game, the Raptors pulled off a 123-117 win, and in their second meet as well, they escaped with a 114-103 victory. They will be hoping to keep their winning streak against the Nets intact.

Apr 26, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Brodric Thomas (33) guards Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) in the fourth quarter at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Even their last win against the Cleveland Cavaliers just showed the progress they’ve recently made. But of course, their star player Pascal Siakam deserves a lot of the credit for it. The Raptors were without Jalen Harris, Paul Watson, and Gary Trent Jr. when playing the Cavs. However, there is no update on their status for this game.

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So, the predicted lineup would be Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Khem Birch, and Pascal Siakam.

Game prediction

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The Nets will be geared up to avenge their last two losses. Also, with Durant and Irving playing together, the Raptors will have some trouble on the defensive end. Expect this win to land in the Nets’ laps.

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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