The Toronto Raptors took care of the Kings convincingly on the road last night!
The Toronto Raptors defeated the surging Sacramento Kings in a convincing 113-95 victory that can change the season's narrative. The Raptors have seen their struggles this season, but they got a well-deserved victory last night. Raptors nation, we can take a step back today and enjoy this one; it felt right. Toronto Raptors have officially stepped up their game, which could prove to change the course of the season going forward.
The Kings fought hard but ultimately could not keep up with the intensity of the Raptors. This win meant more than just another "W," as both teams played hard until the end, leaving no doubt that this game had playoff implications for Toronto.
This win reminded me tonight that there is still potential in this squad; with commitment, focus and determination, our story for this season is not finished. This is how the Raptors can overturn the odds and tap into their true potential.
Pascal and Precious were exceptional last night!
Pascal Siakam led the way with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, while Precious Achiuwa chipped in with 19 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes had remarkable games, finishing with 17 and 7 points, respectively. The team saw six rotation players score in double figures and shot an impressive 49.5 percent from the floor despite shooting only 12-40 from three-point land. It was a truly spectacular effort that demonstrated the potential of this talented squad, something we haven't had a chance to talk about this season. Our beloved Raptors need to stay true to their game; the season is not over.
With the team looking dominant and "locked in," as described by VanFleet and Coach Nick Nurse noting that Siakam was "back in command of the game," it is safe to say that this win is a significant one and will provide valuable momentum moving forward as the Raptors continue on their lengthy western conference road trip.
It was a strong performance from start to finish for the Raptors, who led by one point after the first quarter before outscoring Sacramento 34-27 and 26-17 in the second and third periods, respectively. The fourth quarter saw the Kings close within 12 points before Toronto pulled away for good.
The Raptors were impressive defensively and offensively last night!
Toronto shot an impressive 48 for 97 (49.5%) throughout the game, while Sacramento went 35 for 73 (48%). The Raptors outrebounded their opponents 54-29 to secure this convincing victory. As emphasized by Kings coach Mike Brown "It's hard to beat a team when a team gets 25 more shots than you do."
Toronto Raptors looked more organized and committed than ever before. With increased defending power, the team could snatch up turnovers quite easily. A huge 58-42 difference in point paint and double points in second chance gave them an advantage in statistics.
Sacramento's bench did not perform up to expectations, with Trey Lyles, Malik Monk, Davion Mitchell, Chimezie Metu and Richaun Holmes netting 23 points on 7-of-23 shooting combined, leading to Toronto's two big hitters off the bench -Achiuwa & Chris Boucher combining for 35 points while making 16 within 23 shots taken.
It's not over yet!
It’s awfully hard to predict what a team like the Raptors will do at the trade deadline. But the Raptors looked like a stream to be wrecking with.
Maybe their performance in last night's game gives us some indication that the current roster is not as distant from success as they’ve been showing.
The fact they can bounce back and display signs of life suggests that with a few tweaks, this could be an amazing season for them. There's a lot of time left. All we need is a run before the deadline.
Having the ability to remain resilient and adaptable could very well make or break their shot at glory this year.
It requires guts and determination, as well as trust in a possible long-term strategy which brings us up close to some of the decisions they have to make it.
It is unclear if the Raptors are taking steps in this direction, but it is clear that time is running out for them to take action and double down on their core competency or risk further regression into mediocrity.