Friday, December 19, 2014

Raptors fall short

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Rudy Gay said he didn’t harbour a sense of revenge last night facing his former team—the Toronto Raptors—for the first time since a December trade.
His numbers said it all.

DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Gay added 24 points and 10 rebounds, as the Kings held off the Raptors in the fourth quarter for a 109-101 victory.
The Dec. 9 trade brought Gay, Quincy Acy, and Aaron Gray to Sacramento in exchange for Patterson, John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, and Chuck Hayes.
The trade has worked well for both teams. Since the shake-up, the Raptors have compiled an 18-11 record and own the third-best overall record in the Eastern Conference.
They had an 8-12 mark before the deal.
Gay, meanwhile, has thrived in his role as a key figure offensively. The versatile forward has averaged 20.7 points and shot 53 percent in his first 25 games with the Kings.
Gay wasn’t nearly as effective with the Raptors—shooting just under 39 percent in his second season in Toronto.
“It was great to see Rudy have such a successful game tonight,” said Gray, who didn’t play.
“No matter what the scenario, it’s really important when you go against your ex-team,” he noted.
“You always want to show them what they’re missing.”
Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey wished his team was a little more focused on effort rather than the socializing that took place between the two teams.
“I just thought our whole disposition was off. We’re out there hugging and giving out ‘fives’ and all that,” he noted.
“Well, this is a business,” Casey stressed. “I didn’t think our disposition at the beginning of the game was in fighting mode or hungry mode.”
The Kings led by 20 points going into the final quarter, when Toronto got going offensively and cut the lead to five points with under a minute to play.
But the Kings converted six-consecutive free throws in the final minute to seal their second-straight victory after losing seven-straight.
Kyle Lowry had 21 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds for the Raptors, who had won four of their last five.
Demar DeRozan scored 18 points, Patrick Patterson 14, and Steve Novak 12.
Novak played only 34 seconds through three quarters, but in the fourth he hit three three-pointers—helping the Raptors outscore the Kings 29-17.
“The game was bizarre; we made it interesting,” said Kings’ coach Michael Malone.
“I’m glad they didn’t play Steve Novak more or it would have been a long night.”

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