The Toronto Raptors are winners of eight of their last nine games and scored at least 115 points in six of the last eight contests. The Raptors will try to continue their high-scoring ways on Sunday when they host the Sacramento Kings, who rank last in the NBA in scoring average.
Toronto bludgeoned the Brooklyn Nets 120-87 on Friday while shooting 55.7 percent from the field and handing out 26 assists, led by point guard Kyle Lowry’s triple-double. “My teammates always support me, and my teammates are the reason I’m able to do the things I can do,” Lowry told reporters after collecting 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. “”DeMar (DeRozan) made the shot to get me my 10th assist, and I think that’s like his fifth time helping me get the 10th assist, so it’s been fun.” The Kings are having less fun and failed in their first opportunity to reach double digits in victories by dropping a 119-96 decision in Minnesota on Thursday to kick off a four-game road trip. Sacramento, which averages 96.2 points, failed to reach 100 in any of the last three games and is struggling through some inconsistency with its young players.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Sacramento), Sportsnet (Toronto)
ABOUT THE KINGS (9-19): Rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox has not scored more than 14 points since Oct. 31 and was held to single digits in each of the last three games. Fox, 19, lasted only seven minutes at Minnesota before exiting with a quad injury and is considered questionable for Sunday. Sacramento can count on veteran Zach Randolph (averaging a team-best 15.2 points) and is starting to get more from fellow veteran George Hill, who is averaging 17 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the last two games, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, after getting off to a slow start with his new team.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (19-8): DeRozan made it easy for Lowry to reach double figures in assists on Friday by going 14-of-19 from the floor en route to 31 points. DeRozan is averaging 24 points on the season but jumped that number up to 26.5 on 52.1 percent shooting over the last eight games - a stretch during which Toronto is putting up an average of 114.5 points. DeRozan is not the only player enjoying a hot streak, and power forward Serge Ibaka is averaging 18.7 points on 57.1 percent shooting in December after shooting 45.5 percent and putting up 10.5 points in November.
1. Raptors SF CJ Miles (left shoulder soreness) sat out Friday and is day-to-day.
2. Kings SG Garrett Temple totaled 10 points on 4-of-24 shooting over the last five games.
3. Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak in the series with a 102-87 win at Sacramento on Dec. 10 behind 25 points and nine assists from DeRozan.
PREDICTION: Raptors 113, Kings 103