Toronto Raptors

Five thoughts as Raptors snap 3-game skid with defensive clinic against Kings

Raptors at Kings
(NBA Getty Images)

Toronto's game against Sacramento was the team's third of a six-game stretch away from home. Riding a three-game losing streak entering the game, the Raptors put on a defensive clinic to pull away from the Kings to win 108-89.

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The Raptors were led by Pascal Siakam, who had 32 points on just 12 shots, while Gary Trent Jr. chipped-in with 23 points.

Toronto now move to 8-9 on the season with three more games on the road before heading back to Scotiabank Arena on November 28.

For more on this game let's a look at some key points.

Pascal Siakam

Siakam had his best game since returning from a torn labrum. In just his sixth game back,

He was a menace on both ends of the floor finsihing with a season-high 32 points and 8 rebounds. He blew the game wide open early in the third when he hit a pair of deep threes and a long two to give Toronto a 26-point lead forcing Luke Walton to call a timeout for the Kings.

He's looking more and more like the player who earned All-Star honors in 2020. He also recorded two blocks while going a near perfect 10-of-12 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

"I knew it was gonna be a tough injury to recover from," he said post-game. "My teammates have been great, making sure they encourage me. I just wanna go out there and play basketball."

Bench Mob

Entering this game the Raptors bench was ranked second-last in the league in points per game with 23.9, but led by Chris Boucher's 10 points and Precious Achiuwa, whose status was in question after Toronto's big man missed the first half of their back-to-back with a shoulder injury, Toronto's bench helped get the jump on the Kings in that second quarter.

Achiuwa finished with six points, five rebounds and two assists. The Raptors finished with 28 bench points for the game.

Dalano Banton brought energy as well finishing with 4 points and 3 rebounds. Svi Mykhailiuk had 8 points as well.

Gary Trent Jr

Gary Trent Jr was on fire. He finished with 23 points on just 14 shots (5-for-11 from beyond the arc).

He scored 13 of his points tally in the second quarter, when the Raptors opened the game up with a 33-18 second quarter.

Raptors defense leading to offense

Through 16 games, the Raptors had a Defensive Rating of 109.6 , good enough for 24th in the league, and averaged just 4.2 blocks per game ( 27th in the league ).

Against the Kings they were dialled in from the outset. They held the Kings to 89 points (Sacramento average 111 points per game) on just 38.1 percent shooting, and had seven blocks for the game as well with the trio of Birch, Siakam and Chris Boucher recording a couple of blocks each.

They were active, and they were locked in. Khem Birch even drew the first, yes, FIRST, offensive foul by a Raptor this season.

What's next?

After a day off, the Raptors travel to San Francisco to face the Warriors on Sunday before taking on Memphis (Wed., Nov. 24) and Indiana (Fri., Nov. 26) to close out the six-game road trip.

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