Raptors’ starters come through in squeaker over Kings

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.—Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was whistled for his fifth foul just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter. Coach Nick Nurse elected to leave him in the game, but Sacramento couldn’t capitalize.

The Kings couldn’t draw another foul on Lowry and certainly couldn’t stop him. Lowry played the entire fourth quarter, finishing with 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a 118-113 victory over the Kings on Sunday evening at Golden 1 Center.

Norman Powell scored a game-high 31 points for the Raptors (45-18), who are second in the Eastern Conference. Pascal Siakam had 23 points and eight rebounds.

De’Aaron Fox scored 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for the Kings (28-36), who are now tied for ninth with the New Orleans Pelicans, four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Alex Len came off the bench to post 15 points and seven rebounds. Kent Bazemore had 15 points and six rebounds while Nemanja Bjelica finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sacramento’s bench outscored the Raptors’ reserves 51-7.

Toronto outscored Sacramento 21-9 over the first eight minutes of the game, but Buddy Hield and Bazemore led the charge as the Kings’ bench staged a 13-1 run to tie the game going into the second quarter. The Kings took a 29-28 lead on a basket by Len and went up by eight on a monster dunk by Len with 5:18 to play in the half, but the Raptors battled back to take a 51-50 lead into the halftime break.

The Kings momentarily reclaimed the lead at the start of the second half, but the Raptors responded with an 18-6 run to go ahead 69-58 on a three-pointer by Siakam. The Kings looked like they might fade away against one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, but Bazemore and Harrison Barnes buried back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 14-2 run that cut Toronto’s lead to three late in the third period.

The Kings carried that momentum into the fourth. They got within one on a basket by Len and went up 80-79 when Bazemore drove to the basket for an emphatic dunk. Lowry picked up his fifth foul with 11:47 to play in the fourth quarter, but Nurse left him in the game.

Lowry scored the team’s next 10 points to put Toronto up 89-84, but the Kings came back to tie the game on a basket by Bogdan Bogdanovic with 4:59 remaining. The teams exchanged leads a number of times in the final minutes.

Fox converted a three-point play to tie the game after drawing a foul on a putback basket with 34.3 seconds to play, but Siakam answered with a big basket and a couple of free throws to help the Raptors hang on for the win.

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