Quick Reaction: Raptors 114, Kings 105

8 mins read
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Toronto 114 Final
Box Score
105 Sacramento

P. Siakam35 MIN, 21 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 5-5 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

Siakam has quickly become a legitimate scorer who takes advantage of both larger, slower beings but also smaller players who struggle to match his strength and size. Nurse made it a point to go after whoever was on P Skills and it worked… almost every time.

K. Leonard31 MIN, 25 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 7-17 FG, 2-5 3FG, 9-9 FT, 0 BLK, 5 TO, 0 +/-

Leonard returns. He didn’t force much early, letting the game come to him. By mid-2nd quarter, he took it to Shumpert on consecutive possessions. An interesting part of Leonard’s game is similar to Harden and DeRozan, where he draws many fouls bringing the ball super-low, then abruptly up, forcing contact. Love that. Don’t love the four turnovers, but he’s clutch.

S. Ibaka28 MIN, 14 PTS, 14 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 6-10 FG, 2-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 3 BLK, 4 TO, 5 +/-

Serge defended the paint well, as per usual this season. He also won’t really miss shots. A good combination for a player that received loads of criticism for his play last season. There were times where he looked overmatched

K. Lowry35 MIN, 16 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 6-13 FG, 2-8 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 8 +/-

Lowry continued his great play. I can’t say this enough, but I truly pity those who don’t have the chance to watch K-Low play basketball often. His clutch play kept Toronto alive and deflated the Kings for good. Easily one of the most well-rounded guards in the game.

D. Green31 MIN, 6 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 2-10 FG, 2-8 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 11 +/-

Boneheaded turnovers galore. Time and time again tonight, Green made odd decision after odd decision. He shot an awful percentage too. The only thing that keeps his grade above the ‘F’ level was his ability to play customarily good defense. This is most definitely not the norm for DG as he’s been damn good all season.

O. Anunoby24 MIN, 11 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 5-9 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 13 +/-

A ridiculous plus/minus wasn’t by accident. Anunoby was active and made a plethora of key plays. OG played his absolute ass off tonight. Period.

F. VanVleet21 MIN, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 3-9 FG, 2-6 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

After filling up the box score versus Utah, Fred didn’t shoot a great percentage in this one but did affect the game in other ways. Fred consistently having a wildly high plus/minus speaks to his ability to control the game and set the tone as a floor general.

J. Valanciunas20 MIN, 11 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 4-6 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 4 +/-

JV is so damn productive in spurts. People have been citing his ‘per 36’ numbers since the dawn of time — clamouring for his deserved more minutes, but by now we’ve all realized Valanciunas is better suited in a role that plays him anywhere from 20-25 minutes a game at full energy. Toronto’s lucky to have a big as talented as Jonas.

D. Wright13 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 3 +/-

Same old for Delon. He doesn’t fill up the box score, and unfortunately was the one of the last guys in the rotation today. He played alright in the flow of the game, but was relatively invisible.

M. Richardson1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -2 +/-

Malachi came in for Leonard with a minute left. Not enough for a grade tonight.

Nick Nurse

Nurse continues to have the collective team focus on an entirely different level. With this win, it’s been 12 total games played now for Toronto. Forgetting the whole 11 wins in 12 games part, Nurse’s rotations have been nearly perfect — countering every team’s five with ease. Tight nine-man rotation got it done tonight.

Things We Saw

  1. Slow start… Again. We’ll keep giving Toronto the benefit of the doubt as they just so happen to be on a exhaustive, early-season West Coast road trip. It’s the same game script where they allow the opposing team to outwork them in the first 12 minutes. Then, the pace of the game catches along and they… dominate. A 13-point game at halftime, but could’ve been a 20-25 point game if it weren’t for numerous boneheaded turnovers. I give you, the Toronto Raptors standard.
  2. So. Damn. Cool. Kawhi Leonard’s former head coach from San Diego State University watched his former protegé live for the first time IN HIS LIFE since Leonard’s college days. He did mention he retired just over a year ago, and because Leonard was out the majority of the season with injury, this was the first time for him. It was awesome hearing brief stories about how he recruited Kawhi to SDSU, and the impact Leonard’s mother had on his decision.
  3. Broken record here. Siakam has evolved into a real problem for the NBA. Against second units, he’s quite literally a walking (or running, mostly) bucket. It was telling when Nurse drew up four consecutive plays in the 2nd Q to attack Bagley, Bjelica and Koufos. Respectively, those plays went — bucket, bucket, and-one, kick-out (double teamed) to VanVleet for a wide-open 3PT bucket. With all the Leonard ‘superstar’ hoopla that’s been dominating the Toronto news since the summer, the season’s best story may be right before our eyes in P Skills.
  4. Nick Nurse deserves a lot of credit. We all know that, but may not be saying it enough. This will be the Raptors best West Coast road trip performance in the franchise’s history. To keep the immense focus and intensity necessary for these trips — night in, night out — falls on the coaching staff and the preparation going into each game. Kudos to Nick.

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