by Charlie O. Mallonee with Jordan Chapin
Sacramento – On Sunday afternoon, I had to keep slapping myself in the face and saying we’re not in Milwaukee anymore Toto. Still it felt like we were in Wisconsin eight nights ago when the Bucks opened the game with a 14-0 run on the Kings because the Toronto Raptors opened the game on Sunday in Sacramento with 13-0 run on Kings.
Just like they did last week in Milwaukee, the Kings made a game out of it thanks to some outstanding play by their second-unit led by the scoring of Buddy Hield and the hustle of “Two-way” signee JaKarr Sampson. Zach Randolph also continued to be the grind it out, being the blue collar leader the Kings hoped he would be by producing another double-double game.
At the end of 48-minutes of basketball, the results in Sacramento were the same as they were in Milwaukee. The Kings had to hang another “L” on their schedule board as they lost the game 102-87. The Kings record now stands at 8-18 for the season
With the victory, the Raptors improve to 17-7 for the season. They have won six consecutive games including the first two games of this four-game road trip. Toronto plays the Clippers in LA on Monday night and then face the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday before heading back across the border.
Kings star of the game
Co-writer Jordan Chapin and I had a split decision on who should be the Kings star of the game.
Chapin went with Zach Randolph which is a very difficult choice to argue with in this case. The 36-year old veteran led the Kings in scoring with 19 points and in rebounds with 11. It is his fourth double-double performance of the season. Randolph also led the team in time on the floor playing almost 34-minutes.
I selected Bogdan Bogdanovic who tallied 15 points in the game shooing 5-for-10 from the floor and hitting 4-of-8 3-point attempts. He made the start in place of George Hill who was not with the team for personal reasons. Bogdanovic played almost 30-minutes and scored seven points in the first-half and eight in the second-half. The Kings “oldest rookie” also always impresses with his hustle on defense
Buddy Hield was given strong consideration for star of the game. “Buddy Buckets” posted 17-points connecting on 7-of-13 field goal attempts and converting 3-of-5 tries from “downtown”. He grabbed three rebounds, had two assists and added one steal. The one downside to his game was six turnovers.
JaKarr Sampson played hard in his 19-minutes on the court. Sampson went a perfect 5-for-5 shooting including one 3-pointer. He also made four rebounds and blocked three shots. Before you get to excited about Sampson, Dave Joerger indicated in the postgame press conference that JaKarr would be headed back to Reno as soon as Willie Cauley-Stein is game-ready again. Sampson is a victim of too many players and too few playing minutes.
Also seen in limited supporting roles for the Kings
Skal Labissiere rejoined the Kings after playing one game with the Reno Bighorns. Labissiere actually made the start playing just over 14-minutes. He scored six points and pulled down six rebounds.
Justin Jackson also returned from his stint in Reno. He played just over 33-minutes scoring three-points, hauled in five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Raptors star of the game
DeMar DeRozan made it easy to choose him as the Raptors star of the game by scoring 25-points while shooting 9-for-15 from the field. The talented guard also converted 7-of-11 attempts from the free throw line. DeRozan also handed out nine assists in his almost 35-minutes on the court.
Serge Ibaka was a 20-point man for Toronto in the game. He shot 8-for-13 overall and sank 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Ibaka also grabbed four rebounds.
The other member of the Raptors dynamic backcourt duo Kyle Lowrie has to be given credit as well. He scored 15 points and recorded a double-double by adding 12 rebounds. He did all of that while working through a 4-for-17 shooting night. That is what you call hanging in there.
- Turnovers 21 which resulted in 27 Raptors points. They had just 15 assists – that ratio will never be acceptable at any level of basketball
- 42 rebounds including 7 offensive rebounds
- Shooting: 47.9-percent overall (35-73) – 10-for-23 (43.5-percent) for 3-point field goals
- Free throws 7-for-14: percentage is too low. The number of attempts is too low.
- Kings biggest lead of the game: 1
- Shooting 39-for-87 (44.8-percent) from the floor. The Kings had a better shooting percentage but the Raptors made 14 more attempts and while making 3 additional two-pointers, 1 more three-pointer and they converted six additional free throws for the 14 points they outscored the Kings by in the game.
- 44 rebounds – 12 on offense.
- Raptors largest lead 15 points
Up next for the Kings
The Phoenix Suns will visit the Golden 1 Center to take on the Kings on Tuesday night. Sacramento will then head out on a four-game road trip and will not return home until December 23.