The road is a lonely place, but not when you come away with a huge win. After dropping four straight on their eastern swing, the Sacramento Kings shocked the Toronto Raptors on their home floor by a final of 96-91 to improve to 3-5 on the young season.
Rudy Gay shook off a rib injury to give Dave Joerger’s club a huge boost. The former Raptor dropped in nine of his 23 in the fourth quarter and grabbed five rebounds in 35 minutes.
Despite playing against a group of no-namers in the post, DeMarcus Cousins struggled with his shot for Sacramento. He finished the night just 7-of-21 from the floor for 22 points. But he added 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as the Kings snapped their four-game skid.
Arron Afflalo had a nice game, scoring 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting. The veteran shooting guard has had a rough start to the season, but he found his rhythm both from the inside and outside on Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
Kosta Koufos had a breakout night for the Kings, scoring 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting and grabbing six rebounds starting alongside Cousins. With Koufos playing 25 minutes, second-year big Willie Cauley-Stein drew the healthy scratch.
Ty Lawson shot 0-for-6 from the field, but managed to hand out 11 assists and Garrett Temple led the second unit with eight points in 20 minutes and his defensive effort on Lowry was impressive.
DeMar DeRozan came into the night leading the league in scoring at nearly 36 points per game. He was effective in his 36 minutes, dropping in 23 points on 7-for-20 shooting.
With Jonas Valanciunas out with a knee contusion, Raptors coach Dwane Casey turned to Pascal Siakam for his post presence. The rookie out of New Mexico State played well, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.
All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry struggled from the field, but still managed to score 15 points and hand out 10 assists. Terrence Ross provided a spark off the Raptors bench, chipping in eight points.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Rib injuries are brutal, but Gay fought through the pain and led his team to a must needed victory. Others stepped up big, but Gay was doubtful to play coming into Sunday and showed up big for the Kings when they needed him most.
TURNING POINT -- Cousins’ huge block on DeRozan with under two minutes remaining in the game kept the Kings’ lead at four and set the stage for a victory.
INJURY UPDATE -- Rudy Gay returned to action despite having a rib cartilage injury that kept him out of action on Saturday night. Anthony Tolliver missed his second straight game with a right knee contusion. Darren Collison served his eight game suspension and will return to action Tuesday when the Kings take on the Pelicans at the Golden 1 Center.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings returned home following the game where they will take on the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night and then the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday after five games on the road.