NBA News Wire
Kings 109, Raptors 101
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento’s three-headed monster proved to be just enough to overcome a Toronto Raptors squad that has thrived since acquiring four of the Kings’ former players.
Center DeMarcus Cousins scored 25 points while pulling down 10 boards, forward Rudy Gay had 24 points and 10 boards and guard Isaiah Thomas finished with 23 points as the Kings fended off a furious rally by the Raptors for a 109-101 victory at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday.
The Raptors trailed 96-74 after Cousins made two free throws with 9:37 left in the contest, but they scored the next 11 points en route to a 19-2 run over a 6 1/2-minute stretch. Toronto trailed 105-99 with 28 seconds left when guard Kyle Lowry’s apparent 3-pointer was nullified when officials called him for an offensive foul.
Lowry drew two technical fouls and was ejected, Thomas made the ensuing two free throws and the Kings were able to close out their second straight victory.
Guard Marcus Thornton added 12 points for the Kings before leaving the contest for good late in the first half. Thornton suffered a bruised right hip and left knee after falling hard while going for a rebound. His status will be evaluated before the Kings open a four-game road trip at Boston on Friday.
Lowry finished with 21 points to lead Toronto. Guard DeMar DeRozan finished with 18 but made just 5 of 17 shots for the Raptors. DeRozan had been averaging 26.8 points in Toronto’s previous eight road games.
The Kings also contained guard Jonas Valanciunas, holding him to 12 points. Valanciunas had been averaging 16.7 points in Toronto’s previous six contests.
Former Kings forward Patrick Patterson scored 14 points for the Raptors, who had been thriving since sending Gay to Sacramento with guard Quincy Acey and center Aaron Gray on Dec. 9. The Raptors fell to 19-11 since the trade. The loss was only their second double-digit defeat in that period.
Guard Greivis Vasquez, forward John Salmons and center Chuck Hayes, the other three players acquired by Toronto, combined for 10 points and eight rebounds, and Vasquez fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
The Kings, who set a Sacramento-era record by holding the Bulls to 28.2 percent shooting in a 99-70 win Monday, are the only team in the NBA with three players averaging 20 points per contest. The victory marked the sixth time all three have scored 20 points in the same contest.
Sacramento improved to 11-15 since the trade and Gay produced at least 20 points for the 15th time as a King.
NOTES: New NBA commissioner Adam Silver attended the game, along with deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. Silver, who replaced David Stern last Friday after the final day of the former commissioner’s 30-year tenure, was unable to tour the Downtown Plaza, the sight of the Kings’ proposed new arena, because of bad weather that kept him from arriving on time. Silver said he likely will visit the area Thursday. “I’m not going to leave without seeing the Downtown Plaza,” he said. … Kings G Marcus Thornton left the game after landing on his face and elbow while going for a rebound late in the first half. He did not return. … Toronto G Kyle Lowry was in the lineup after leaving Monday’s contest with pain in his right knee. … Kings F Rudy Gay is the only player among the seven traded in the blockbuster December trade between the two teams who is starting. G Greivis Vasques, F Patrick Patterson, F John Salmons and F Chuck Hayes all came off the bench for Toronto, as did F Quincy Acy for the Kings. C Aaron Gray did not play.
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