SACRAMENTO- Sacramento turnovers lead to seven of Toronto’s 10 points and an early 10-3 lead for the visitors, but the Kings found a way back with the help of rookie Nik Stauskas, defeating the Raptors 113-106 at Sleep Train Arena Tuesday night.
The Kings absorbed the initial turnovers and settled in thanks to Jason Thompson’s first half production of eight points and seven rebounds, cutting the Raptors lead to 25-24 at the end of the first quarter.
Sacramento took their first lead of the game at 26-25 on a Darren Collison free throw with 11:38 remaining before the half.
However, Toronto bounced back to tie the game at 44 with 2:56 to go in the second quarter.
With 1:07 to go in the half, Nik Stauskas gave Sacramento the 52-48 lead with a four-point play and a Rudy Gay bucket at the first half buzzer extended Sacramento’s lead to 56-50.
Kyle Lowry exploded for 20 points for the Raptors in the first half and Sacramento was paced by Omri Casspi’s 10 off the bench in the first 24 minutes.
DeMarcus Cousins, who has set a goal of five technical fouls for the regular season, picked up a technical trying to free his arm from Tyler Hansbrough after the former Tar Heel fouled Cousins.
Sacramento extended its lead at the end of the third quarter and entered the final stanza with a 13-point cushion, 89-76.
Late in the third quarter and into the fourth, Sacramento exhibited a small ball lineup with Casspi, Jason Thompson, Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas and Ramon Sessions.
Six Kings scored in double figures led by Cousins' 19 points. The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry’s 25 points.
Rookie Nik Stauskas was efficient, shooting 5-of-6 from floor and making his only free throw attempt to finish with 13 points in 26 minutes, but the 19 points from DeMarcus Cousins in just under 18 minutes paced the Kings.
The second quarter surge for the Kings proved to be the difference, as they outscored Toronto 32-25 including Stauskas' aforementioned four-point play and a Rudy Gay buzzer beater.
Raptors center Greg Stiemsma took an elbow to the head and was escorted off the floor by the team's training staff with 3:19 to go in the game.
Terence Ross missed the game after suffering a bruised right knee in the Raptors 99-94 win over the Kings on Sunday in Vancouver. Ross underwent an MRI on Monday that proved negative.
Patrick Patterson (hand) and Lucas Nogueira (groin) also missed the contest.
The Kings depart for China on Wednesday for two games against Brooklyn in Shanghai and Beijing on Saturday and Wednesday respectively.
"Still training camp so we need to find a way to get work in with distractions and obligations but it’s great opportunity to get better every day and bond," Malone said about the trip to China.