Looking to forget all about Friday night’s disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sacramento Kings came out aggressive and active on the defensive end. The Kings set the tone early against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre and came away with a big 104-94 victory on the road.
The matchup to watch coming into the game pitted All-Star point guards Rajon Rondo and Kyle Lowry against each other. The battle lived up to its billing for a little over two quarters, until Lowry decided to mouth off to an official and was sent back to the locker room early.
Rondo took full advantage of Lowry’s absence, dropping in 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting and handing out 13 assists. This marked the 16th game this season Rondo finished with 10 or more assists. It was his 13th double-double of the season.
Amidst a spattering of boos from the Toronto crowd, former Raptor Rudy Gay put up 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. His three-pointer with just over four minutes left in the fourth pushed the Kings lead to seven and silenced the fans in attendance.
DeMarcus Cousins took a while to get going, but he showed up in a big way in the fourth quarter. His thunderous dunk at the 6:45 mark of the fourth gave the Kings a 91-83 lead. Cousins scored 7 of his 15 points in the final frame. He added nine rebounds and handed out five assists in the win.
Omri Casspi scored 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, while Ben McLemore dropped in 12 on 5-of-7 shooting.
The Raptors rode the hot hand of DeMar DeRozan for most of the night. The high-flying shooting guard finished with 28 points and seven rebounds.
Former Kings Patrick Patterson and James Johnson hurt Sacramento late. Johnson went nuts in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 14 in the final frame. Patterson chipped in 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from downtown.
Rondo put on a show. The veteran point guard took full advantage of Lowry’s ejection, torching the Raptors for another double-double.
This game looked like it was going to be decided in the opening minutes of the game. Sacramento came out aggressive and ran the Raptors off the floor in the first quarter. But Toronto bounced back on their home floor to make it a game. Gay’s 3-ball with a little over four minutes left gave the Kings a seven-point lead and the Raptors never recovered.
Willie Cauley-Stein continues to sit with a badly injured right index finger. Eric Moreland is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his left foot.
The Sacramento Kings are back at it again on Monday when they travel to Washington DC to take on the Wizards in game three of their four-game road trip. Sacramento is 0-6 on the season in the second night of a back-to-back, so they have their work cut out for them.