The Toronto Raptors Norman Powell (24) attempts to score on the Sacramento Kings Harry Giles III (20) on Sunday night at Golden One Center in Sacramento (ap photo)
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–Grant Napier put it perfectly on the Kings broadcast after the win on Saturday night in Portland, “The Kings may have saved their season.” The Kings are playing well but would have a big test on Sunday night. The Toronto Raptors were coming to town. The 2019 NBA Champs would be a tough task for the Kings on the second night of a back to back. Would the Kings be up to the task? TIp off was set for 6 PM PST at Golden 1 Center.
In the first quarter, the Kings didn’t appear up to the task. The Raptors defense and Kings missing open looks led to a double-digit lead early. However, the Kings would turn that tide. The Kings went on a 9-0 run to end the quarter tied at 22. Buddy Hield was able to come in off the bench and score eight points which greatly helped the Kings.
In the second, the Kings looked to keep that momentum going. The Kings managed to sustain that momentum into half. The Kings played toe to toe with the Raptors in the second to go into halftime only down one point at 51-50.
The Kings faltered slightly in the end of the half or they could have taken a slim lead into the half. Leading the way for the Kings was two players off the bench. Buddy Hield and Alex Len both had 11 points to lead the Kings in the first half. For the Raptors, they got a 14 point half from Norman Powell as Serge Ibaka chipped in 13. The Kings looked to keep their composure going into the second half.
In the third, the Kings faded slightly. The Raptors outscored the Kings 27-24 in the third to take a 78-74 lead into the final 12 minutes. The Kings weren’t able to hit shots in the third as they did in the first half but were able to stay close. Harrison Barnes and Kent Bazemore each had seven points in the third.
In the final frame, the Kings would battle. As the game was winding down to the final minutes, the Kings had tied the game with 5:00 left in the game. From there, it was anyone’s game. The rest of the way each team continued to trade baskets.
Until with 34.3 left on the clock, De’Aaron Fox hit an and-one layup. He made the free throw and the game was tied at 111. Nick Nurse drew up a great play in the timeout for Pascal Siakam to take the lead at 113-11 with 27.7 left. The Kings then missed a three-pointer and fouled the raptors in the rebound. Pascal Siakam made both and the Kings were down 115-11.
Richaun Holmes on the next play got downhill for the and-one layup. Holmes missed the free throw and the Raptors were up 115-113. The rest of the way, the Kings weren’t able to hit shots and they ultimately fell 118-113 to the Raptors. It was a hard played loss for the Kings and nothing to hang their heads on. The Kings now turn their attention to the next home game.
Up Next: The Kings stay home to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at 7 PM PST.