What we learned in disappointing 144-123 loss to Raptors

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What we learned in Kings’ disappointing loss to Raptors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SACRAMENTO — For three quarters, the Kings and Raptors were playing a highly entertaining game void of any defense. And then Toronto turned it up a notch.

In a stunning display, the Raptors broke their franchise scoring record of 140 points in a regular season game when they thumped Sacramento on their home floor by a final of 144-123.

Fred VanVleet put on a show, scoring 34 points to lead Toronto, but he wasn’t the only player to shine. Chris Boucher posted a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double and Norman Powell added 22 points on 4-of-5 from three as the Raptors put on a show.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings failed to defend the 3-ball and got outplayed on their homecourt to fall to 4-5 on the season. 

No defense

It was all Kings in the first quarter. They looked like they were shot out of a cannon, scoring 43 points in the opening frame. The only issue was that they allowed Toronto to drop 35 in the open 12 minutes, which was only a preview of what was to come.

In a stunningly poor performance, the Kings defense yielded – points to a Raptors team that came into the night 1-6 on the season. Sacramento allowed the Raptors to score at will in the paint and once they started hitting 3-pointers, it was game over.

On the night, Nick Nurses’ squad shot 58.2 percent from the floor, including 20 makes from 3-point range on their way to 144 points. It’s not often you see a team pass, shoot and score like the Kings and lose by 21 points.

Questionable?

De’Aaron Fox played a total of five minutes Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls after having a hamstring tighten up in the first quarter. He was questionable to play in Friday’s game against Toronto, but decided to give it a go.

Despite being banged up, the Kings’ starting point guard put on a show. He was limited to just 25 minutes by the team’s training staff, but he still managed to score 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting and he chipped in three assists. 

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With another game on Saturday night against the Trail Blazers, it was surprising to see Fox on the court. He put in a gritty performance, even if it came in a loss.

Ball movement 

Sacramento lost the game, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do a few things right. The Kings finished the night with 36 assists as a team.

Harrison Barnes and Tyrese Haliburton led the way with eight dimes each, but 11 players finished with one or more assists in the loss. 

The Kings came into the fourth quarter with 32 assists, but when the Raptors started bombing away from the perimeter, the ball movement for Sacramento slowed to a crawl.