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Raptors 117, Kings 109

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Guard Kyle Lowry scored 27 points and knocked down a key 18-foot jump shot with under two minutes left, and the Toronto Raptors held off the Sacramento Kings 117-109 at Sleep Train Arena on Tuesday.

Guard Terrence Ross added 20 points, and six Raptors scored in double figures, as Toronto avoided its first three-game losing streak in nearly a year. Lowry added a game-best 13 assists.

Lowry made his shot from just underneath the top of the key after Sacramento had cut Toronto’s nine-point advantage entering the final quarter to 111-107.

The Raptors won despite playing their second straight game without leading scorer guard DeMar DeRozan (groin tendon tear). DeRozan, averaging 19.4 points per game in 16 contests this season, is out at least four weeks.

Guard Ben McLemore scored 21 points, and forward Rudy Gay added 20, but the Kings lost their season-worst fourth straight contest. Sacramento is 0-2 on a five-game homestand that is part of a stretch in which it plays 10 of 11 at home.

Center DeMarcus Cousins missed his third straight game with a virus for the Kings. Cousins leads Sacramento in scoring (23.5 points per game); rebounding (12.6), blocks (23) and steals (17).

Without him, the Kings got 18 points from forward Derrick Williams and 10 from forward Reggie Evans off the bench. But forward Jason Thompson and center Ryan Hollins combined for just six points and six rebounds.

Guard Ramon Sessions added 15 points for the Kings, which received a season-high 58 points off its bench.

The Raptors avoided their first three-game losing streak since a five-game slide last December. Three days after the final loss in that streak, Toronto sent forward Rudy Gay to the Kings in a seven-player deal that sent guard Greivis Vasquez, forward Patrick Patterson, forward Chuck Hayes and since-departed guard John Salmons to Toronto.

Vasquez finished with 12 points and seven assists, and Patterson had 12 points to help the Raptors win for only the third time in 18 games ever at Sacramento. Forward James Johnson had 19 points Valanciunas added 15 for Toronto.

The Kings were within 105-101 after Gay knocked down a 10-foot jumper with 5:37 left, but Toronto forward Amir Johnson and center Jonas Valanciunas scored layups on consecutive possessions, and the Kings couldn’t get closer than four points the rest of rest of the way.

NOTES: Former Kings G Greivis Vasquez started for Toronto in place of G DeMar DeRozan for the second straight game. Vasquez, F Patrick Patterson, F Chuck Hayes and F John Salmons were in dealt from Sacramento to the Raptors on Dec. 9, 2013, for F Rudy Gay, C Aaron Gray and F Quincy Acy. Toronto entered play Tuesday with a 54-26 mark since the deal. … Raptors F Amir Johnson played despite a painful toe that limited him to just six minutes in Toronto’s loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. … The Kings entered December above .500 (9-8) for the first time since 2004-05. They are coming off their first winning month since November 2009. … Gay totaled 39 points but shot just 40 percent from the field in his two games against his former club last season. … Raptors coach Dwane Casey was selected the NBA’s Eastern Conference coach of the month for November.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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