Season series: Kings up 1-0
In Toronto’s last meeting with the Kings, in Sacramento, the Raptors found themselves on the wrong end of a highly disputed offensive foul call against Kyle Lowry that robbed them of the opportunity to steal a come from behind win on the road.
The Raptors face the Kings Friday evening at Air Canada Centre. In addition to seeking a win after dropping its last game to the Kings, Toronto will be looking to take care of business at home before heading on the road for a two-game back-to-back trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets.
Sacramento’s lone visit to the ACC this season will also mark the return of Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray after the December trade that sent them to the Kings in exchange for Greivis Vaquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
What To Watch
DeMar DeRozan’s hot play: DeRozan has topped 30 points and dished out six assists in each of his last three games. He is averaging 13 free throw attempts per game over those three games and continuing to show his evolving playmaking skills. DeRozan is averaging 22.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, all career-bests.
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins: Averaging 22.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and nearly three assists per game, Cousins is a 23-year-old problem to deal with in the middle. Toronto isn’t a stranger to what Cousins can do on the court; he dropped a 31-point, 20-rebound performance on the Raptors at Air Canada Centre last season. Former Kings big man Chuck Hayes will likely see some time against Cousins. Hayes was assigned the task of guarding Cousins during practices in Sacramento and is familiar with his ex-teammate’s game.
Terrence Ross returns to action: After missing Sunday’s victory against the Golden State Warriors because of an ankle sprain sustained during Toronto’s triple-overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night, Ross is expected to be available for the Raptors against the Kings.
Working the boards: Raptors head coach Dwane Casey singled out rebounding as the biggest area in need of improvement for his team right now. “We’ve got to get those rebounds once we do get stops,” Casey said. “That’s our biggest concern. Some of it is DNA as much as anything else. We’re going to continue to drill it, drill it, drill it, and hopefully it kicks in. I know rebounding is sort of like shooting. Some rebounders are born. It’s natural to have the first reaction to the ball. We’re trying to create, and it’s hard to do. We’re going to continue to work on it.”
– “I might have been the first person that called him to be honest with you. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen it personally. For once, the good guys win. You know was I’m saying? That’s how I see it.” – Gay on DeRozan’s first All-Star selection
– Gay made it a point to say facing his former teammates would be fun. Also: “There’s no hard feelings. There’s no ill-intention. I have no problem with these guys at all. I’m happy for them. These are my friends.”
– Kings head coach Mike Malone had the quote of the day when he was asked about Patterson’s strong play for the Raptors since the trade: “He’s a proven shooter. I mean, last year he was amazing. I told him last time we played them, if I would have known it would take a broken nose and a mask for you to shoot this well I would have broken your nose a couple of weeks ago. To his credit he’s come here, new start, fresh start and he’s taken full advantage of the opportunity given to him.”
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Landry Fields (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Kings: Isiah Thomas (G), Ben McLemore (G), Rudy Gay (F), Jason Thompson (F), DeMarcus Cousins (C)
Raptors: Terrence Ross – sprained left ankle (day-to-day)
Kings: Carl Landry – sore right knee (day-to-day), Jason Terry – left knee rehabilitation (out)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Kings
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Raptors 101, Kings 109 - Feb. 5th, 2014