Game Rap: Raptors 91, Kings 96
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
a Kyle Lowry three-point attempt was off the mark with 29.9 seconds remaining and the Kings ahead by four. A pair of Sacramento free throws on the following possession put the Kings ahead by six and kept the game out of reach for the Raptors. After coming to Toronto 0-4 on their five-game road trip, the Kings collected a 96-91 victory on the second night of a back-to-back.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
While Sunday’s game was only Toronto’s second loss of the season, it happened with the team allowing their opponent to get back into the game after holding a double-digit lead. It’s an early loss (with a starter sidelined) to an opponent hungry for a win, but it’s also the kind of loss the team does not want to make a habit of collecting.
CHILLY THIRD QUARTER
After leading 50-44 at the half, the Raptors offence went frigid in the third. Sacramento outscored Toronto 24-16 in the quarter to turn a six-point halftime deficit into a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter as the Raptors shot just 20 percent, making 4-of-20 field goals. Sacramento shot 47 percent in the quarter, converting 9-of-19 attempts.
Shortly before the game tipped off, the team announced that Jonas Valanciunas would miss the game with a left knee contusion. Valanciunas couldn’t recall anything specific that had happened to his knee, but it had been sore during the week and medical staff made the decision to rest him. He is being listed as day-to-day. Rookie Jakob Poeltl started in his place.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry — like most of the team — didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but still managed a 16-point, 10-assist double-double in 39 minutes. Lowry was 5-for-16 from the floor, but added four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. In an ugly game for the Raptors, the team was a +9 when Lowry was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Rookies Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl each gave valiant efforts in the starting lineup facing off against the Kings frontline. Siakam ran the floor and was rewarded by Lowry for his efforts. Poeltl battled Cousins as best as he could before fouling out in the final seconds. Siakam finished with 10 points, six rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot, while Poeltl added six points, four rebounds and two assists. The duo impressed Dwane Casey with their competitive edge and fight going up against one of the most difficult players to guard in the league in Cousins.
THAT'S A RAP…
“It’s a long season. It was one of those nights where you can’t make a layup. We can’t get too down on ourselves. There’s a lot to learn from with the way they were guarding me and Kyle [Lowry], what to expect in the screen-and-rolls, what the bigs are supposed to do, what to do on the weak side, small things like that. It’s a great learning tool for us.”
- DeMar DeRozan summing up an off night for the Raptors
BY THE #’S
52…Points in the paint for the Kings, 30 for the Raptors.
6…Just six turnovers for the Raptors, leading to two points for the Kings. This is one of the biggest reasons Toronto was in the game late, despite shooting just 29 percent in the second half, compared to Sacramento’s 46 percent shooting.
23…Percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Raptors. Sounds simple, but sometimes the shots just don’t fall, despite getting good looks.
47…Rebounds for the Kings, 43 for the Raptors.
22…Points, 14 rebounds, four assists, a steal and three blocked shots from DeMarcus Cousins. Toronto made Cousins work for his points, holding him to 7-for-21 field goals, while former Raptor Rudy Gay scored 23 points, and Kosta Koufos and Arron Afflalo each added 12 points.
THEY SAID IT…
“Yeah, I honestly don't know what happened. I can't even give you a good explanation, but I know I've got to play better and the team has to play better. It's only one loss, but I put a lot of pressure on our team because we're one of the better teams and I put a lot of pressure on myself because I'm one of the better players. We've just got to play better as a group and myself individually.”
- Kyle Lowry on an off-night offensively, particularly in the second half
“The way I gotta approach it is take away the stupid fouls I’m making and all of a sudden I’m not in foul trouble anymore, because I can take the one or two fouls that maybe aren’t too much contact. I can take that and still be out there on the court.”
- Jakob Poeltl on getting into foul trouble and what he’ll take with him moving forward
“It’s going to help Jak [Poeltl] and Pascal [Siakam] tremendously. Starts against Rudy Gay, starts against an experience player like [Kosta] Koufos, an experienced player like [DeMarcus] Cousins is a situation where it’s going to help them but, again, no matter who’s out there we have to get a rhythm, understand what they’re trying to do us, move the basketball offensively and get the shots we want.”
- Dwane Casey on how early experience will help the rookies later down the road
“We've got to shoot the ball better. That's not a concern, I just think we have to find a way to make the shots. We've got to shoot more and get in the gym and shoot even more, get even more extra shots up. But we'll see what happens. I think our confidence is there. I think we were 7-for-30 tonight, or something crazy.”
- Kyle Lowry on team struggles from deep to start the season
The Raptors embark on their first two-game road trip of the season with a trip to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Wednesday at 8 P.M. ET.