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Raptors get payback against Kings

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors felt they owed the Sacramento Kings something after their previous meeting, a 109-101 loss in February.

They delivered with a resounding 99-87 win Friday night, a game they led by 21 at one point.

Following Sunday’s 104-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors, Raptors coach, Dwane Casey, remarked, “Sacramento took us to the woodshed at their place last time.

“(They) took our guys out, fed them, and then beat them the next night. We owe them something coming in here.”

Guard Terrence Ross led the way with a team-high 18, showing no ill effects from a sprained ankle which forced him to miss the game against the Warriors.

“Terrence came in and did what he usually does, knock down shots,” said Casey. “That gave us a boost.”

Ross, who entered the game having gone 16 of 25 from 3-point range is his previous four games, finished 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.

“I just got used to the line, you have to work at it,” said Ross of 3-point shooting. “Once you get confidence, you play at a different level, so I just try to maintain that confidence.

Guard DeMar DeRozan, who failed to finish with more than 30 for the first time in three games had 15 and center Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 for Toronto.

The game marked forward Rudy Gay’s first in Toronto since his trade from the Raptors to the Kings in early December. Gay was booed relentlessly all night at the Air Canada Centre. He finished with 15 points.

“Honestly, I don’t even pay attention to it,” Gay said of the crowd reaction. “Boo or cheer; either way, I have to go out there and do my job.”

With the win, Toronto improved to 27-14 since the trade. Toronto (34-26) improves to 13-4 at home since Jan. 1 and has now won eight of 10.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins finished with a game-high 24 points. Guards Isaiah Thomas and Ben McLemore each had 14 points for the Kings.

The loss halts Sacramento’s win streak at two games and snaps their four-game win streak in Toronto. Sacramento (22-40) had won 8 of 11 and 10 of their last 15 trips to Toronto.

“I thought that we were awful tonight,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “The first and third quarter I thought that our starting group was not ready to play. They out-scored us 58-38 in those two quarters.”

The Kings are now 9-21 on the road this season.

Forwards John Salmons and Patrick Patterson, who were acquired from Sacramento in the Gay trade, hooked up on a give-and-go play early in the fourth quarter with Patterson finishing off the alley-oop feed and receiving a thunderous cheer from the crowd.

Salmons finished with 15 points off the bench.

On the strength of a 10-2 run in the third quarter, Toronto carried a 17-point lead into the fourth.

The third quarter was highlighted by a monster one-handed dunk from forward Amir Johnson. Johnson finished with nine points.

Toronto led 51-44 at the half as both teams battled foul trouble.

Foul trouble limited Cousins to just over eight minutes in the first half. Valanciunas and Ross each had three personal fouls for the Raptors as both teams combined for 27 first-half fouls.

“Not how we wanted to start the game off and it showed,” said Cousins. “They got off to a quick start on us. I don’t think we played together and it showed and really hurt us.”

The Raptors and Kings finished with a combined 58 fouls in their last meeting.

DeRozan led the way with eight points in the first quarter, hitting 4 of 6 from the line, and the Raptors led 29-19.

The Kings, who are in the middle of a seven-city, 12-day road trip, visit Brooklyn on Sunday.

Toronto concluded its three-game homestand with a 2-1 record and visits Minnesota on Sunday.

NOTES: Toronto G Terrence Ross (sprained left ankle) returned to the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s win over Golden State. … Kings coach Michael Malone’s father, Brendan, coached the Raptors to a 21-61 record in their inaugural season (1995-96). … In addition to F Rudy Gay, Sacramento received F Quincy Acy and F Aaron Gray in exchange for G Greivis Vasquez, F John Salmons, F Patrick Patterson and C Chuck Hayes in a Dec. 9 trade. … Toronto is averaging 101.5 points per game since the trade after averaging 97.3 in 18 games with Gay.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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