Quick Reaction: Raptors 118, Kings 113

TOR Raptors 118 Final Box Score 113 SAC Kings A P. Siakam38 MIN, 23 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 7-15 FG, 2-8 3FG, 7-8 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/- Don’t wake up Siakam until it’s winning time. Similar to his performance a few nights back, Siakam struggled all game before taking…

TOR Raptors118Final
Box Score
113SAC Kings

P. Siakam38 MIN, 23 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 7-15 FG, 2-8 3FG, 7-8 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Don’t wake up Siakam until it’s winning time. Similar to his performance a few nights back, Siakam struggled all game before taking over late in the fourth quarter with an array of tough shots and eight consecutive points. Siakam’s dominance began with a couple of crisp assists and then followed it with a nasty step-back triple. Running the pick-and-roll with Lowry as a screener was absolutely unstoppable late. Siakam’s short-term memory during inefficient nights has been hugely impressive.

O. Anunoby39 MIN, 12 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 10 +/-

Wasn’t as much of a destructive defensive force as he has been on this road trip. It was still a solid night for Anunoby. That pump-fake and step to rise for a comfortable mid-ranger was a thing of beauty; those are the types of plays you want to see more of from Anunoby where everything feels under control. Anunoby also had a vicious dunk as the roller and then blanketed Fox on defence before the latter got bailed out by a bogus call. Held his nerve on late free throws.

S. Ibaka36 MIN, 15 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 0 STL, 5-10 FG, 1-4 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 15 +/-

Ibaka kicked things off on fire, his scoring helped Toronto take a big lead. Although his shot wasn’t dialed in, Ibaka got into the paint and had a handful of nice assists when drawing defenders in. There were some struggles containing Fox in the pick-and-roll drop coverage, but Ibaka’s back-end presence helped change Toronto’s defensive performance in the second half.

K. Lowry36 MIN, 30 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST, 3 STL, 10-15 FG, 6-10 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 16 +/-

Took a little longer to get going, but Lowry went off for 11 important second-quarter points as the rest of the Raptors offence stagnated. Lowry put his head down and attacked to open the second half, forcing his way to either the rim or the free-throw line. With the Raptors reeling again early in the fourth, Lowry knocked down seven consecutive points to bring them back from the brink. It was all KLOE to finish, and my word it was beautiful to watch.

N. Powell43 MIN, 31 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL, 11-21 FG, 6-12 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 17 +/-

Powell just keeps on performing. His ability to leak out in transition, get to his spot, and release so effortlessly from deep is Danny Green-esque. Powell’s smooth triple followed up by an immediate steal on Bogdanovic was a six-point swing that highlighted just how quickly he can shift the momentum of a game given his current form. As Nurse mentioned earlier in the week, Powell is blossoming into a legitimate scorer.

P. McCaw17 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -17 +/-

All McCaw needed to be an offensive threat was his old buddy Gasol. McCaw knocked down a beautiful triple off a split action from the Spaniard. However, there wasn’t much else to celebrate for McCaw tonight, who like the rest of the bench, had a terrible game. A game-worst -17 paints an accurate picture.

M. Gasol16 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 1-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-

There was expected rust for Gasol after a 15 game layoff. Still, there were flashes of his unique skill set that raises the Raptors’ ceiling. I really missed his screens that erase defenders to free up ball handlers. Let’s hope that the shot begins to fall soon!

R. Hollis-Jefferson6 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

Only used in the first half, RHJ was part of a bench unit that got waxed before getting quickly yanked.

T. Davis6 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

It’s been a tough road trip for TDII. His leash was a tight one tonight as Davis only minutes came with the bench lineup that was decimated.

M. Thomas4 MIN, 1 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -8 +/-

Checked in during the third quarter to provide a scoring punch. Thomas got exploited a couple of times to send Sacramento to the line, but did get to line himself on a drive which was a surprise!

Nick Nurse

Nurse might’ve gone a little too long with some ineffective lineups tonight. However, it is becoming especially tough for him to find moments to rest Lowry as the backcourt reserves have been terrible as of late. The decision to put the ball in Siakam’s late showed Nurse’s trust in his All-Star; we got a glimpse of the break-in-case-of-emergency Siakam/Lowry pick-and-roll actions.

Things We Saw

  1. Half-time mentality shift: It was a quiet first half for Toronto as the home team brought more energy early, getting out rebounded 28-19 and allowing 32 points in the paint. However, there was a noticeable shift in the team’s mentality and approach in the third quarter. It started with Lowry, who put relentless pressure on the rim and sped up the pace of play, and his teammates followed.
  2. Causing chaos: The Raptors are elite when they crank up the frenetic energy and force turnovers to unlock their deadly transition game. After being too reactionary in the first half, Toronto started to force the issue by jumping passing lanes and corralling the paint. They need every single on of their 23 fastbreak points tonight.
  3. Bench blues: The Kings bench outscored Toronto tonight 51-7… yes, you read that right. It has been an ugly trip for the reserves, and the minutes may begin to dry up for some as Gasol’s minutes slowly increase and VanVleet returns to the court. Time is running out for the bench players to make a claim on the playoff rotation.