The Raptors entered the fourth with an 86-80 advantage, but they faded defensively to start the final frame and found themselves on the wrong end of an 18-9 run.
They were still in a position to tie the game with the ball and trailing by three in the final 12 seconds. But Linas Kleiza was forced to drive to the rim for two on a broken play, his shot would hit front iron and bounce off, the Kings rebounded and the trip begins with a loss.
It wasn't exactly a strong start for big man DeMarcus Cousins, but his fingerprints were all over the decisive fourth quarter with his scoring and rebounding.
The fifth pick in this year's draft scored 10 of his 16 points in the final seven minutes with two of those points coming off an offensive putback at the 6:41 mark to give the Kings their first tie (93-93) since 2-2. Just a clutch performance for Cousins, who also finished with four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
What a long way DeMar DeRozan has come since last year. As a rookie, he barely got a sniff of the floor in fourth quarters last season but on Monday, he was instrumental in giving the Raptors a chance late.
DeRozan scored seven of the Raptors final 10 points, including a stunning slam to pull Toronto with 13 seconds to play. DeRozan went at the rim relentlessly all night, finishing with 14 free throw trips and matching a career-high of 24 points (7-12 FGM-A).
"They made tough shots. We were trying to stop Tyreke (Evans) from driving the basketball. You provide help… and they went five for seven from the three-point line and shot 55 percent in the second half and we didn’t do anything real different. They made tough shots and when we needed buckets down the stretch we couldn’t do it. We need to be a lot better defensively."
- Jay Triano, on the difference between the two halves.
Mon., Nov. 3 vs. Jazz
9 PM ET, SNO, FAN590
The Raptors try and move on from Monday's loss as they travel to Salt Lake City for a look at the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Toronto has lost 10 straight games to Utah, which ranks as its second-longest active losing streak to an opponent behind the Suns (12 straight losses). The Raps have won only three times in 14 tries in Utah, with their last coming on Dec. 22, 2004.
|3||Consecutive scoring efforts of 20+ points for Andrea Bargnani|
|45||Losses for the Raptors in their last 53 West Coast games|
|17||Biggest lead of the game for the Raptors|
|10||Offensive rebounds for Reggie Evans|
|52-44||Points in the paint totals favouring the Kings|
|" Just feeling it. Watching how they are playing defense on us and just trying to take it."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on taking it to the basket more
|"Well if I had my choice between first and second half, I’d take second half. That was a really exciting game. ''|
- Kings head coach Paul Weestphal .
|“The threes were wide open. The other shots I had they were guarding me pretty good, but the threes I got were open.”|
- Andrea Bargnani, on the Kings' defensive approach