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Canadian Sports Betting Preview: DeRozan's Heroics, NHL Trade Deadline & Jays Spring Training

The Toronto Raptors are in a strange spot right now. Canada’s lone NBA club has won four straight games and three in a row since acquiring Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline, but the Raps are forced to do it without all-star point guard Kyle Lowry.

Lowry recently suffered a wrist injury and underwent surgery to “remove loose bodies” on Tuesday morning. The timetable for his return is murky, but the team is hoping he’ll be back in time for the playoffs. Lowry is undoubtedly the straw that stirs the drink for the Dinos, as the 30-year-old is averaging 22.8 points, 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game on the season.

The Raps have been rising to the occasion in the absence of the Philadelphia native, thanks in large part to the contributions of Lowry’s backcourt mate, DeMar DeRozan. Without Lowry, DeRozan is the go-to option in the Raptors offense and he’s responded by going off for a career-high 43 points against Boston, 33 vs Portland and 37 vs New York.

It’s going to be tough for the Raptors to keep up this torrid pace without their floor general, but the team is silencing the doubters by proving they can operate efficiently without Lowry around. Toronto plays host to the suddenly struggling Washington Wizards tonight in a game with huge playoff implications.

Senators making moves

The Vancouver Canucks opted to send longtime forward Alexandre Burrows to the Ottawa Senators on Monday in exchange for 19-year-old prospect Jonathan Dahlen, who was selected by the Sens in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2016 NHL draft.

With top-six forward Clarke MacArthur out for the remainder of the campaign with a concussion, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion swooped in to replace the veteran. Burrows, who was a pending unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year, $5-million contract worth an average annual value of $2.5 million on Tuesday, the Senators announced.

The Quebec native has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) and 53 penalty minutes in 55 games this year.

Blue Jays get in the win column

After dropping their opening three spring training games, the Toronto Blue Jays’ bats broke out in a big way on Tuesday as they hammered the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-0. The Jays capitalized on sloppy defense and poor pitching to score early and often for their first win of the spring.

After mustering up only seven runs in the first three games, Gregorio Petit, Kendrys Morales, Dwight Smith Jr., Mike Ohlman, Joshua Palacios, Jonathan Diaz and Matt Dean paved the way for the Bluebirds’ offensive outburst.

The Blue Jays are back in action on Thursday when they square off with a Detroit Tigers split squad at home in Dunedin. Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer will start for the Tigers, while Ryan Borucki is expected to counter on the mound for Toronto.

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