Raptors beat Kings as Kawhi Leonard sits out third straight game

Raptors 120, Kings 105

TORONTO — Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet each had 19 points and four other Raptors scored in double figures Tuesday as Toronto downed the Sacramento Kings 120-105 to extend its season-high home winning streak to 10 games.

Toronto (36-13) was without star forward Kawhi Leonard, rested for the third game in a row. Coach Nick Nurse said Leonard would also sit out Wednesday’s visit to Indiana but would be back for Friday’s contest in Houston.

Leonard, whose workload is being carefully managed after playing just nine games last season with the Spurs due to a quad injury, last saw action last Wednesday in Boston. He sat out games Thursday against Phoenix and Saturday against Memphis.

Toronto, which was also without Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) and OG Anunoby (personal reasons), started Lowry, VanVleet, Danny Green, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka.

Sacramento (24-24) rested De’Aaron Fox, Iman Shumpert and Nemanja Bjelica, all of whom started Monday’s loss in Brooklyn.

Leading by 10 going into the fourth quarter, the Raptors increased its lead to 15 at 101-86. The Kings tried to eat into the lead but Toronto stood firm.

Lowry, who finished with nine assists, had 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Siakam had 18 points while Ibaka added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto. C.J. Miles had a season-high 15 for Toronto.

The Raptors made 16 three-pointers to seven for Sacramento.

Marvin Bagley III, a 19-year-old rookie from Duke, led the Kings with 22 points in his first career start. Sacramento also had six players in double figures.

The Raptors came into the game having won two straight and seven of their last eight. Toronto’s last loss at Scotiabank Arena was Dec. 9 against Milwaukee.

The franchise record for consecutive home wins is 12. Toronto plays the next three games on the road before returning to face Milwaukee and the Clippers.

Both teams were accurate from distance early on, combining to make their first five three-pointers before Ibaka missed one. Lowry had four assists before the first quarter was half-over.

A 9-0 Kings run, during which Toronto missed five straight shots and turned the ball over, cooled the Raptors late in the first quarter and Sacramento led 34-29 going into the second quarter. VanVleet had 11 of Toronto’s 29 points.

The Raptors came out firing in the second quarter with C.J. Miles triggering an 8-0 run with a pair of three-pointers as Toronto pulled ahead. The Raptors held the Kings to 22 points in the second quarter, leading by as many as seven before heading to the locker-room up 60-56.

Nurse dipped deep into his bench, using 11 different players in a scrappy first half. Sacramento ran out 10.

Toronto turnovers helped keep the Kings in the game. Toronto led 73-64 only to see Sacramento reel off nine straight points. The Raptors answered with a 15-5 run of their own and led 88-78 after three quarters, with the Kings restricted to another 22-points quarter.

Sacramento was thumped 123-94 by the Nets on Monday in a game in which it led 60-55 at halftime. Brooklyn opened up the second half on a 21-6 run as the Kings were limited to under 100 points for the second time in three games — something that happened just three times in the first 44 games of the season.

Toronto was the fourth stop of a season-long six-game road trip for Sacramento, which lost two of the first three. Sacramento had dropped its last three games against Toronto.

The Kings arrived ranked eighth in the NBA in scoring at 113.6 points a game. The Raptors stood sixth at 113.9.

But while Toronto ranked ninth in points allowed (107.1), Sacramento was 28th (115.0).

Earlier in the day, a former top Kings executive pleaded guilty to siphoning US$13.4 million from the team to buy Southern California beachfront properties.

Former chief revenue officer Jeffrey David faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at sentencing April 15 on federal charges of wire fraud and identity theft.

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