December 17, 2017, 5:53 pm
The Kings put forth a solid effort but ultimately it wasn’t enough as they let it slip in the second half, falling 108-93 against the Raptors.
It was a high-scoring first quarter in Toronto as the Raptors held a 35-30 lead through 12 minutes. The Kings were unlucky to be trailing as they shot 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) from the field led by Garrett Temple’s 10 points, a promising sign considering the major slump he was in.
However, the Raptors themselves shot 12-of-20 from the field including 4-of-7 from three which was essentially the difference in the first. Sacramento shot just 0-of-1 from deep.
With De’Aaron Fox (quad) and Zach Randolph (rest) out, Dave Joerger had to switch up the lineup, moving Vince Carter, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos into the starting lineup. This unit played with a bit more pace than usual which was nice to see.
As of result of the lineup switch, Georgios Papagiannis got some minutes off of the bench and made a couple of quick buckets upon his entry into the game. The Raptors led for much of the way throughout the first half but the Kings stuck around and were playing some really solid basketball.
The Kings, after their quiet first 12 minutes from downtown, came out to shoot 7-of-11 on 3-pointers in the second quarter which propelled them to a 63-61 lead at halftime. Bogdan Bogdanovic was leading the way for Sacramento with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting while George Hill managed 11 first half points on 3-of-3 from three – including a half court bomb to close the half.
The Raptors were getting steady contributions from most of their lineup, but it was the usual guys doing most of the work as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the third quarter but the Kings let things slip away a bit in the closing minutes of the quarter. Multiple turnovers and some lackluster defense helped the Raptors jump out to an 83-77 lead heading into the fourth. It’s not a major deficit, but for the first time in the game the momentum was in favor of one team – the Raptors.
Sacramento looked gassed in the third quarter and it looked to be a case of Joerger overplaying his veterans a bit too much.
Toronto continued to roll as the fourth quarter got underway and the Kings just couldn’t claw themselves back into it. The early Sunday starts on the east coast aren’t normally kind to the Kings and as the game progressed they started to fade. The Raptors putting the nail in the coffin in the fourth quarter outscoring the Kings 25-16.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic was superb tonight posting 18 points, three rebounds, five assists and one steal on 7-of-10 shooting and 4-of-7 from three. He left the game early with what is believed to be a quad contusion so we’ll have to await confirmation as to the seriousness of the injury. It didn’t seem to major at first as he continued to play through the pain when it first occurred.
- Vince Carter got his first start of the season as had some good moments. He posted four points, one rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks in 25 minutes. He shot 2-of-5 from the field on the night. He looked gassed near the back-end of the game but got a nice standing ovation from the Toronto crowd as he was subbed out to conclude the game.
- The Kings did a decent job hanging with the Raptors in the 3-point department. Sacramento shot 11-of-26 from distance (42.3 percent) while Toronto were 13-of-30 (43.3 percent) from outside. Both teams had their moments hitting multiple 3-pointers in a quarter but at the end of the day, it was fairly even.
- Sacramento was hammered on the glass, sinking into a 46-32 hole. Randolph’s presence was certainly missed in this area of the game as the Kings let many easy rebound opportunities slip away, costing them points.
- The free throw disparity was also huge. The Raptors shot 23-of-28 from the line (82.1 percent) compared to just 6-of-8 from the line for Sacramento (75.0 percent).
The Kings will be back in action on Tuesday against the Sixers as their road trip continues. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Sacramento managed to get the narrow 109-108 victory over the Sixers in Sacramento earlier in the season. The assumption here is that Randolph will return to the court for that one, and Fox’s status is still up in the air.