Raps Bounce Back

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Raptors Pick up Second Win of the Season in a Shootout with the Kings

The Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings engaged in an all-out offensive basketball game Friday night, and the Raptors came out on top to earn their second win on the season.

The Raptors converted on 58.2% of their field goals on the way to scoring a franchise-best 144 points. Sacramento got off to an early 37-19 lead with 3:43 left to play in the first quarter, but the Raptors stormed back to cut the deficit to eight at the end of the first.

Norman Powell started in place of Kyle Lowry, who was ruled out before the game for personal reasons. Powell scored 22 points in 27 minutes.

Rich Pedrocelli / AP Photo

“It was fun from the jump, those guys were hitting shots, tryna figure out how we were gonna slow them down, I like the competitiveness of games like that,” said Powell.

“It seems like we were making the right reads and plays and they were still hitting shots, and its just about finding it in yourself and the team to really bunker down and get some stops and fuel our offence, and I thought we did a great job of that near the end of the first, going into the second. The guys off the bench played with tremendous energy and we were able to get stops and get out and move the ball, and that fuelled us for the rest of the game.”

The Raptors never looked back after the first quarter, out-scoring the Kings in every quarter following the first.

Both teams just couldn’t miss, as they both shot over 44% from three. Fred VanVleet led the way for the Raptors, scoring 34 points and dishing out seven assists in his 33 minutes of action. Pascal Siakam also continued to show positive signs on the court, as he flirted with a triple-double stat line of 17 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.

Sergio Estrada / USA TODAY SPORTS

Chris Boucher continued his steady play off the bench against the Kings, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Yuta Watanabe also made an appearance off the bench, grabbing seven rebounds and scoring three points, but Watanabe most notably made a difference on the defensive end with his energy, ending the game with a +16 box plus/minus in his 19 minutes.

After the game, Nick Nurse spoke on Watanabe’s effectiveness out on the court.

“I think that he’s kind of a good utility guy because he does run hard, he rebounds pretty well, he’s not a high-volume shot taker, he’s a cutter, and a mover, and the ball swings pretty good, and its nice to have a guy like that out there that just kind of keeping the things ticking over.”

“One thing he does is he competes. He’s not the strongest guy in the world but he does give everything he has, and that also rubs off, energy-wise,” said Nurse.

With the win, the Raptors improve to 2-6 on the season, and they look to build on the momentum as they finish up their West-coast road trip on a back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday and the Portland Trailblazers on Monday.

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