The Kings had everything in their favor Friday night: they were at home, at a rest advantage relative to their opponent, and had their full roster available compared to the Raptors, who were without their best player Kyle Lowry.
For the first few minutes, it looked like the Kings would be able to cash in on those advantages as they built a 19-point first-quarter lead. But those good vibes were short-lived, as the Raptors came roaring back for a 144-123 win, setting a franchise record for points in a game in the process.
Sacramento got off to an outstanding start, dropping 43 points in the first quarter thanks to scoring from seven players, including at least five points from six different Kings. The team had 13 assists on 17 made field goals and shot 81 percent from the field. It was almost a perfect period, except the Kings started to let loose on defense as their offense scored with ease.
That proved disastrous in the second quarter as the floodgates opened for Toronto. The Raptors came into Friday’s contest with the 28th ranked halfcourt offense in the NBA, scoring 89.1 points per 100 possessions. Against the Sacramento defense, that figure went up to 112.2 in the first half for Toronto.
The agent of destruction was Fred VanVleet, who carved up the Kings for 34 points on 13-of-22 shooting. He had seven assists, and Pascal Siakam shared the rest of the playmaking load with 12 dimes of his own. Collectively, the Raptors only had 11 turnovers despite the fast pace of the game, and they made 20-of-39 threes.
Meanwhile, the Kings wasted strong offensive performances from Harrison Barnes, Tyrese Haliburton, and De’Aaron Fox. Barnes and Haliburton each had eight assists while Fox led the team in scoring with 23 points. The problem came on the glass, where the Kings could only secure three offensive rebounds despite the Raptors playing small most of the night. Starting center Alex Len played fewer than five minutes, but Toronto still had enough size to control the game.
It’s not often you see a team lead by 19 and trail by 24 in the same game, but the Kings made it happen. Fortunately, they get a chance to quickly move on from this one Saturday.