Two words, DeMarcus Cousins.
Entering this game tonight against the Sacramento Kings, the Raptors seemed fairly optimistic. With being winners of 8 of their last 9 (including winners of five straight at home), the Raptors had much to be pleased about. Despite all the optimism, and all the hope circling around Raptor Nation recently, DeMarcus Cousins came in tonight, looking to crush all spirits Raptors fans had possessed. In that, he certainly did. Cousins, who the Raptors had no answer for all night, torched them for 31 points, and added 20 rebounds. The Raptors, despite their horrid play, found themselves down just one at halftime. That all changed in the second-half however, as the Kings jumped out to a tremendous third-quarter, outscoring the Raptors 28-10. From that point on, the Kings never looked back and silenced the Toronto crowd, handing the Raptors their 21st loss of the season.
After scoring 102 points during an impressive victory against the Trail-Blazers Wednesday night, the Raptors came out dreary in this one. After shooting 53% from the floor against Portland (including 34 assists), the Raptors were, just as Dwane Casey had said, “Flat as a pancake”. While shooting just 38% from the field, the Raptors failed to get any sort of consistent offense whatsoever. They failed to get anything inside, and did not move the ball efficiently as we’ve been used to seeing as of late.
Positives: The second-unit.
When the second-unit got the call, they didn’t fail to produce (combining for 53 of the Raptors 96 points).
When holding an opponent to under 100 points, the Raptors are 12-6. When allowing opponents to score 100+ points however, that’s a different story. The Raptors allowed 106 points to the Kings tonight, and now fall to 0-15 when allowing opponents to score above the century-mark. The Kings (thanks in large part to DeMarcus Cousins), destroyed the Raptors interior defense, outscoring them in the paint, 52-32.
Although the rebounding in its entirety didn’t seem like a huge disadvantage, the Raptors failed to box-out the most important player on the floor, in DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was able to haul down a game-high 20 rebounds, as no one amongst the Raptors frontcourt, was able to stop him.
Positives: Ed Davis was able to grab a team-high 13 rebounds, to go along with 11 points, in which earned him his 4th double-double of the year.
Game Ball: Tonight’s game ball goes to Kyle Lowry. Although the offense was abysmal tonight, Lowry was able to come off of the bench and ignite somewhat of a spark for the Raptors. He led all Raptors with 24 points.
All in all, it was not a good effort by the Raptors, who will look to rebound Sunday afternoon, as Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town.