Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Sacramento Kings
Records: Raptors (44-18), Kings (28-35)
Where to Watch
Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN1 (Canada) and NBA TV (USA)
Location: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Every game from here on out matters for the Kings.
Following their win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, the Kings sit 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with 19 games remaining in their season.
MORE: Which team poses the biggest threat to the Lakers in the first round?
The Kings will be looking to close that gap in the coming weeks. They have one of the easier remaining schedules in the league, but they still have matchups coming with the Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets between now and the end of the regular season.
How they fare in those games will go a long way in determining whether or not they make the playoffs, although some of it is out of their control. In addition to the Grizzlies and Kings, the Blazers, Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs are each fighting to stay in the playoff race.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Pelicans (55%) the best odds to make the playoffs, followed by the Grizzlies (19%), Kings (13%), Blazers (10%) and Spurs (2%).
For the Raptors, they'll be looking to further distance themselves from the Boston Celtics in the standings now that they've clinched a spot in the playoffs. They now have a two game lead over the Celtics for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference following Boston's loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday.
This is the second-last game on Toronto's five-game road trip. After playing the Kings, they'll head to Utah to take on a Jazz team that is 21-9 at home this season.
MORE: What's next for Raptors after clinching?
It's still unknown if Fred VanVleet and/or Marc Gasol will play on Sunday. They were both originally listed as doubtful for Thursday's game against the Golden State Warriors.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said last week that he hoped VanVleet, Gasol and Serge Ibaka would return at some point during this road trip. VanVleet and Gasol are yet to play, whereas Ibaka returned against the Warriors, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Fred VanVleet (shoulder) are listed as questionable while Dewan Hernandez (ankle) continues to be out.
The Kings have not yet submitted an injury report.
- Norman Powell is coming off of the highest scoring game of his NBA career, leading the Raptors to victory over the Warriors with 37 points.
- Powell has now scored 20 or more points in 16 games this season. He had a total of 12 such games in his career entering this season.
- Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox is one of the best transition scorers in the league. He's averaging 5.5 points per game in the open court this season, the ninth-highest mark in the league.
- One of the players ahead of Fox? Kyle Lowry. He's averaging 5.7 points per game in transition this season, although he ranks in only the 30th percentile with 1.03 points per possession.
- The Kings also have one of the best shooters in the league in Buddy Hield. James Harden is the only player in the league to have made more 3-pointers than Hield to this point of the season.
- The Kings rank 19th in offensive efficiency (109.0) and 18th in defensive efficiency (110.6).
- The Raptors rank 12th in offensive efficiency (111.2) and 2nd in defensive efficiency (105.0).
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 6, 2019
Score: Raptors 124, Kings 120
Raptors: Kyle Lowry - 24 PTS, 6 AST, 2 REB, 2 STL
Kings: Harrison Barnes - 26 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.