No one said it was going to be easy. After dropping their fourth straight Saturday night, the Sacramento Kings are back at it on Sunday against one of the best the Eastern Conference has to offer. The Toronto Raptors won 56 games last season and they are once again primed for a long playoff run this year.
The Kings are struggling to find their way on the road. With Rudy Gay doubtful for a second straight game, Sacramento needs more from its supporting cast. DeMarcus Cousins saw double-teams all night against the Bucks on Saturday and if his teammates don’t start hitting some shots, he’ll see more of the same against the Raptors.
Toronto quietly posted the second best record in the east last season under Dwane Casey, but they lost bigs Bismack Biyombo and Luis Scola in free agency. They are an exceptional perimeter team, which could give the Kings fits. But Cousins should have a big night against a team lacking in size.
Raptors by 9.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo vs. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan -- The strength of the Raptors team is in their guards. The All-Stars duo of Lowry and DeRozan have combined to score 53.2 points per game through five contests, including a big 35.8 from DeRozan. Lawson is still trying to pick his spots in the Kings’ new offense and Afflalo is struggling mightily early in the year. If the Raptors leaders get it going, it will be another long night for Sacramento.
WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 2-5, last place in Pacific
Raptors: 4-1, first place in Atlantic
Kings: F Rudy Gay (rib cartilage injury) doubtful, Anthony Tolliver (knee) doubtful, PG Darren Collison (suspension) out.
Raptors: C Jared Sullinger (foot) out, PG Delon Wright (shoulder) out, Jonas Valanciunas (knee) out.
Sacramento swept the season series 2-0 last year against the Raptors. The Kings own a 24-15 lead over the Raptors all-time.
“We’ve got to stop a slide, you know. It felt like they were playing and we didn’t have a pop to our game. A good team will take advantage of that.” -Omri Casspi following the Kings blowout loss in Milwaukee Saturday night