Road Reaction: Kings 98, Raptors 91
Holy Toronto, the Kings win on the road!
DeMarcus Cousins dominated the Raptors tonight, scoring 21 points and grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds to lead the Kings to their first road win of the season.
Rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas set new career highs in points (20) and assists (6), and Tyreke Evans led all scorers with 29 points in 45 minutes of action. The Kings hit an incredible 31-for-34 from the free throw line, winning the game from the stripe down the stretch.
Leandro Barbosa led the Raptors in scoring with 24 off the bench, while Toronto’s leading scorer Andrea Bargnani notched just 10 points, while shooting 2-for-13 from the field. He left the game in the third quarter with a strained left calf.
Notes and Analysis
- Jimmer Fredette started in place of Marcus Thornton again, but struggled in 27 minutes of play. The heralded rookie scored 10 points, but shot only 2-for-7 from the field, finished with zero assists and turned the ball over twice. He had a nice moment in the third quarter, pulling up on a fast-break and burying a three, but he does not look comfortable on the court and it’s pretty obvious his teammates can sense it.
- Donté Greene played a season high 25 minutes. Greene has played sparingly this season, but maybe he can crack coach Smart’s rotation with some solid defensive play.
- Francisco Garcia is another player who appears to have worked his way into Coach Smart’s good graces. After logging 26 minutes last night in Thornton’s absence, the veteran out of Louisville played 17 minutes tonight. Although he failed to score, Garcia seemed to stabilize the team on the floor.
- Cousins played a season high 39 minutes tonight. It’s amazing what happens when you aren’t in foul trouble all game. He finished with four personal fouls on the evening.
- The Kings won despite shooting only 37 percent from the field and finishing with just 13 assists. Shooting 91.2 percent from the line may have had something to do with that.
- Travis Outlaw received the dreaded DNP-CD for tonight’s game as Coach Smart turned to both Greene and Garcia instead.
- John Salmons continued his quiet season, scoring just six points in 31 minutes. The veteran wing has now scored in double figures just four times this season in 11 games.
- Stat of the night: Of the Kings’ 31-made free throws, Evans made 14-of-14. Also, Cousins just barely missed notching his first career 20-20 game by a single rebound.