Kings visit rested Raptors on quick turnaround
The Sacramento Kings lost for the second time in the first three outings of their six-game trip Monday afternoon, 123-94 to the Brooklyn Nets, and it does not figure to get easier Tuesday night when they visit the rested Toronto Raptors.
The Kings, who were outscored 68-34 in the second half Monday, are 10-13 on the road, and they will be meeting a team that thrives at home.
The Raptors will be going for a season-best 10th consecutive home victory and are 20-4 at the Scotiabank Arena this season.
"We're comfortable," said Raptors guard/forward Danny Green, who matched his career best with eight 3-pointers Saturday in the win over the Memphis Grizzlies. "We play with a little more confidence. I guess we're able to talk better, shoot better. We've had some tough stretches where we shoot bad but here we shoot a little bit better and defensively we talk, communicate, just know the floor, know each other.
"Protect home court. A lot of it has to do I think with the fans, that confidence, the way we play here is because of how much they back us, and encourage us, and that energy they bring for us every night."
Green made seven of his 3-pointers in the third quarter Saturday, accounting for 21 of his season-best 24 points for the game and setting a team record for 3-pointers made in one quarter. The Raptors outscored Memphis 45-14 in the frame, a club record point total for a third quarter.
The first time the Raptors played the Kings this season, Nov. 7 at Sacramento, they had Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup after he had missed two games with an ankle injury. Leonard scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 114-105 Toronto win.
That scenario will not be repeated Tuesday. Leonard has been rested the past two games and will miss his third straight due to "load management," according to the official injury report. He has missed 12 games this season.
The Raptors are 8-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets, while the Kings are 3-6.
After scoring 33 points in a loss at Boston Wednesday, Leonard missed the home win over the Phoenix Suns the next night and has yet to play both ends of back-to-back games this season. He also was rested for Saturday's game.
OG Anunoby will miss his fourth straight game Tuesday for personal reasons, but is expected to return some time this week.
CJ Miles, who had been struggling, has scored 13 points in each of his past two games after missing the previous two games a sore right hip that has hampered him throughout the season. He also had five of Toronto's franchise-record 19 steals on Saturday.
"I definitely feel that my pace feels better," Miles said. "It's like the way I'm seeing it I don't feel so sped up but at the same time I have a good pace about what I'm doing. I still think conditioning-wise, I'd like to be able to play that pace in both stints. I'm still getting there with that."
Miles missed the first game against Sacramento with a sore hip.
The Kings continued to receive good production from the bench Monday. Their two leading scorers came off the bench -- Bogdan Bogdanovic, who had 22 points and 11 assists in 32 minutes and Justin Jackson, who scored 14 points in 29 minutes.
Bogdanovic has started only seven times since missing the first 10 games of the season while recovering from knee surgery.
"He's a pro," Kings coach Dave Joerger told the Sacramento Bee recently. "He's been in a lot of big games throughout the course of his career, especially overseas, and so he's been a joy for me to coach. You can do a lot of things with him. He's a very cerebral, high-level thinker, and the things he can do with the basketball. ... he can make a lot of plays for himself, but actually, I think he's a better playmaker than he is a shooter, and I think he's a heck of a shooter."
Jackson started 41 games as a rookie last season, but has been limited to three starts this season.
"I think the guy is just getting experience and playing a number of games and feeling comfortable, and the game is slowing down a little bit for him," Joerger said. "Some of these matchups he's seen six times over the course of two years, and you just feel a little bit more comfortable finding your spot."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 22, 2019