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Kings 63, Raptors 61: Kings Play Well In the First Half

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There was a second half. The Kings lost 108-93

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After an awful loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sacramento Kings would need to travel north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors. With Zach Randolph resting and De’Aaron Fox out with a bruised right thigh, the Kings would have to come into the game with extra intensity if they wanted a chance to compete against a very good Raptors team.

With Randolph and Fox unavailable, the Kings would call on Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos in the starting lineup. It was certainly a different look, but appeared to work well. It is not a lineup I particularly want to see a lot in the future, but it worked out in this situation.

The team responded well, entering this pressure with a very good first half that began with a flurry by Garrett Temple and ended with a successful halfcourt heave by George Hill. It was an incredible effort by nearly every player in the court. Vince Carter was getting blocks, Bogdan Bogdanovic was hitting it from downtown, and Frank Mason was getting hustle plays. There were even a couple of pretty moves by Georgios Papagiannis! It was one of the better halves of basketball that the Kings have played during the season and gave the fans a lot of hope going forward.

On the defensive end of the court, it was a balanced effort from the Toronto Raptors, with a whole lot of role players showing up to make up for just 18 combined points from Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan. Second chance points and fastbreaks were what killed the Kings on this end of the court, but in the end the Kings were able to overcome this downfall, leading the Raptors 63-61 at the half after George Hill’s miraculous shot at the buzzer to put them ahead.

GAME NOTES

-There was a second half. The Kings lost. They couldn’t get a board or hit an open shot. It was really bad.

-Vince Carter may have played his last game in Toronto, though Kayte Christensen says that he plans on playing at least one more year. He got a good send-off at the end of the game from the crowd who cheered him on for so many years.

-Bogdan asked to leave the game with a couple minutes to go with what may be a thigh or knee injury. He played through it for a while, but the Kings should be cautious if it does linger.