The Sacramento Kings haven't played since last Friday, but tonight seemed like a repeat of the epic flood unleashed by the Golden State Warriors. This time the Toronto Raptors as a team played the role Klay Thompson did single-handedly, scoring 39 points in the third quarter to essentially end the game. The final score of 119-102 was a mere formality afterwards.
As has been usually the case for the Kings, the team fell apart when DeMarcus Cousins sat down. While Cousins wasn't all that good offensively, with only 13 points and 4 rebounds to go with nine turnovers, his defense was essential to keeping the Kings within striking distance. Unfortunately, Boogie picked up three fouls in the third quarter, forcing him to sit with 6:54 left in the quarter and the Kings leading 66-64. From that point onward to the end of the quarter, the Raptors outscored the Kings 29-10, including going 8/9 in three point range, leading to a 17 point lead going into the fourth quarter. The Kings would never challenge again.
The Kings were led in the game by Rudy Gay's 22 points on 17 shots. Ben McLemore also had a nice bounce-back game offensively, dropping 17 points on 11 shots, including 3/6 from three point range. Carl Landry also had a strong game off the bench, scoring 14 points on nine shots and leading the team with seven rebounds. But really, the offense was not the issue.
The Kings need to figure out how to keep their defense in tact when Cousins gets a breather. The Raptors made 17 three pointers on the night, and a depressing number of those were unguarded. Players were not only sagging off far too often on three point shooters, the rotations were also late and closeouts were really ineffective. This is the seventh straight loss for the Kings, and they need to do something to end the tailspin. The Kings next play the Cavaliers on Friday.
For the opponent's perspective, visit Raptors HQ