Undermanned Raptors drop a 126-124 decision to Kings for third straight loss

·2 min read

TAMPA, Fla. — Harrison Barnes scored 26 points to lift to Sacramento Kings to a 126-124 victory over the shorthanded Toronto Raptors on Friday.

Pascal Siakam had 32 points to top the Raptors (7-12), who rallied from an 18-point deficit down the stretch before losing their third straight.

Fred VanVleet added 26 points, while Kyle Lowry scored 17 points before being ejected with four seconds to play. Terence Davis and Yuta Watanabe chipped in with 12 points apiece.

The Kings (8-10) snapped a seven-game losing streak against Toronto and avenged an ugly loss to the Raptors on their home floor three weeks earlier.

The Raptors, who have used six different starting lineups in their last six games, were missing OG Anunoby for the second straight night (calf strain), and Norman Powell, who sat out with a knee contusion he suffered in Wednesday's loss to Milwaukee.

Earlier in the month in Sacramento, the Raptors roared back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Kings 144-123, recording a franchise best in points.

But down two key players, there weren't quite the same late-game heroics for the Raptors on Friday. After an early two-point lead, the Raptors trailed the rest of the way. A 17-point deficit in the second quarter became 18 points late in the third, and Toronto trailed 104-91 with one quarter left to play.

The Raptors made things interesting in the dying minutes. Watanabe connected on a three-pointer then grabbed a big rebound that led to a Lowry bucket to cap an 8-0 run that sliced Sacramento's lead to 112-105 with 5:21 to play.

VanVleet zig-zagged through the defence to score, then Watanabe connected on a jumper to pull Toronto to within a point with 1:08 to play. Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton replied with a three-pointer. Lowry's short jumper cut it to two again, but Sacramento free throws put the game away.

Barnes was a perfect 3-for-3 from distance in the first quarter and his long bomb at the buzzer capped a 12-2 Kings run that had the visitors up 36-24 to start the second.

The Kings stretched their lead to 17 points early in the second quarter, but the Raptors replied with a 14-4 run to make it a seven-point game. The Raptors would pull to within seven three more times in the quarter, but trailed 68-58 at the halftime break.

The Kings maintained a double-digit lead through the third quarter, and a layup by former Raptor and Canadian Cory Joseph had the visitors up by 18 late in the frame.

The Raptors host Orlando on Sunday to cap their three-game homestand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press