THE FACTS: In a tough fought game involving two teams with only four wins on the season, the Sacramento Kings gave their fans a rare 107-100 victory over the lowly Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night..
DeMarcus Cousins dominated the game for the Kings (5-12), finishing with team highs in both points with 25 and rebounds with 13. After missing his team's previous two games, Tyreke Evans looked sluggish in the first half, but recovered late to give the Kings 23 points.
Kyle Lowry was every bit as good as Cousins, leading the Raptors (4-15) with 34 points and 11 assists for the game. Mickael Pietrus turned back the clock tonight with 21 points and six rebounds in the loss.
QUOTABLE: "I'm trying to make my teammates better and I know I can't win games with them. So, if I'm going and I can get them going at the same time, it can help."
-- DeMarcus Cousins
THE STAT: The Kings used an aggressive inside attack to take an early lead. During the first half, they outscored the Raptors 36-12 in the paint on their way to an eight-point lead at intermission. Sacramento scored 56 points in the paint on 28-for-51 shooting.
TURNING POINT: With less than two minutes remaining and the game tied at 95-95, Evans buried back-to-back 3-pointers pointers to give the Kings a six-point lead. That proved to be the difference in this one.
QUOTABLE II: "They were just talking over there, you know. They said, "Leave him open" and I said, "Leave me open and I'm going to keep shooting it," and I just made the shots."
-- Tyreke Evans on the Raptors bench talking trash before he buried his two fourth quarter 3-pointers
HOT: The Kings frontcourt of Cousins and Jason Thompson came out hot in the first half and punished the Raptors down low. The duo combined for 25 points and 12 rebounds before the break, and held the Raptors' frontline to just 11 points and four boards.
HOT II: Lowry caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 15 of his game-high 34 points and dishing out five of his game-high 11 assists in the 12 minutes after the break.
NOT: Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas was a complete non-factor in this one. Not only did he finish with just three points and three rebounds in 16 minutes, but he also was the open door on a defense that Cousins kept walking through.
NOT II: After starting the previous two games due to an injury to Evans, Marcus Thornton moved back to the bench tonight for Sacramento. The veteran scoring guard finished with three points on 1-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes of action.
GOOD MOVE: The Kings coaching staff tightened their rotation down and gave the players a clear directive to go at the rim. The result was a solid 46-percent shooting night with 56 of their 107 points coming in the post.
BAD MOVE: Raptors coach Dwane Casey had very little choice in the matter, but any time he took Lowry off the court, the Kings pulled away. Lowry finished with 39 minutes, but the Raptors needed him for all 48 tonight.
NOTABLE: The Sacramento Kings improved to 4-1 on the season in games in which they score 100 points or more and they are 5-0 at home when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Friday @ Utah, Sunday @ Clippers, Monday @ Portland. For the Kings, Friday vs. Orlando, Saturday @ Portland, Monday @ Dallas.