Toronto Raptors beat Kings 108-93 for ninth consecutive home win

Toronto Raptors beat Kings 108-93 for ninth consecutive home win

TORONTO — With 11.6 seconds left, Vince Carter picked up his fifth foul and was subbed out of the game to a loud and long standing ovation.

Ending what was likely Carter’s final appearance on the Air Canada Centre court, it was the highlight of an otherwise hum-drum 108-93 victory for the Toronto Raptors over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

“I hope not,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said, on the possibility that Carter played his last game here. ”He’s a guy I’ve always looked up to, respected, someone that has earned the right to have his jersey retired in the Raptors’ arena. What can you say? Tip the hat to the guy that pretty much changed the game of basketball for a whole country.”

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and a season-high 16 rebounds to lead the Raptors to their ninth consecutive home victory.

Six Raptors scored in double figures, as Lowry finished with 16, Norm Powell had 14, OG Anunoby had 11, and C.J. Miles chipped in with 10.

The Raptors (20-8) improved their NBA-best record at the Air Canada Centre to 11-1.

Carter had just four points in 25 minutes, but showed a couple of flashes of vintage Vince, such as first-half block (he would finish with three) on Valanciunas. The 40-year-old, who was a five-time all-star in his six-and-a-bit seasons in Toronto, signed a one-year, US$8-million deal with the Kings last off-season, for his 20th NBA season.

The Raptors reportedly were interested in him last summer, and Carter, who inspired a generation of young Canadian players in his days as a superstar in Toronto, sounded Sunday like he would welcome a return engagement.

“I heard about it, it didn’t happen. It’s just one of those things, it’ll happen, for sure,” Carter said. “Somehow, whether it’s one day or something, it’ll happen. It’s supposed to happen, I think. I can say that now. I’ve had a lot of people say it’s supposed to happen, so now I guess I have to believe.”

A far cry from the days he was serenaded by a chorus of boos in Toronto, the crowd cheered Carter during team introductions, and each time he checked in.

“Nothing changes. I still love being here, whether it’s 10, 12 years ago, or today,” he said. “There’s nothing like it. I’ve been on two different sides of it… but, it’s still a place that’s near and dear to me. Every time I walk in here, 10, 12 years ago or 10, 12 minutes ago, still see the same people, still greet the same people, see the old faces.”

Garrett Temple and Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings (9-20) with 18 points apiece.

The Raptors had beaten the Kings 102-87 in Sacramento on Dec. 10, but Sunday’s game was a see-saw battle that saw nine lead changes through the first three quarters. Toronto took an 83-77 advantage into the fourth in front a subdued crowd of 19,800, before back-to-back threes from Powell and Delon Wright give the Raptors a 12-point lead less than two minutes into the final frame.

The Kings would cut the lead to eight, but a buzzer-beater by Fred VanVleet had Toronto back up by 11 with 1:38 to play. Lowry drilled a three after the ensuing timeout for a 14-point lead, all but sealing the victory.

Kings coach Dave Joerger said he’d hoped it wasn’t going to take a clear path foul to sub Carter out for the ovation.

“But whatever it takes to get him out, I was just yelling for a foul,” Joerger said. “For what Vince has done in the league in general, the number of people’s lives he has changed that play in this league, and all the people that have worked with him… also I know how special it is for him here.

“Hopefully it is not the last time, hopefully he’ll play for another 10 years.”

Carter said he’s still waffling on retirement.

“You catch me on the right day, I’ll probably tell you it’s over this year, you catch me on another day, I can probably tell you in a couple of years,” he said. “I just enjoy playing, I enjoy being around the guys in this atmosphere. It’s tough to say. You’re asking today, so I can tell you, I have one more in me.”

Neither team led by more than four points in a back-and-forth first quarter until Powell’s cutting layup with 1:05 left, and the Raptors went into the second quarter with a 35-30 lead.

Toronto stretched its advantage to seven in the second, but the Kings closed the half with a 16-7 run, capped by a 46-foot buzzer-beater from George Hill.

The Raptors are in Charlotte on Wednesday, and Philadelphia on Thursday before heading home to host the 76ers on Dec. 23.

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Foligno (71) and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate Marner's goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Taylor Pendrith from Richmond Hill, Ont. salutes the crowd after sinking a birdie on the 18th hole to come in at five under par during first round of play at the Canadian Open golf championship Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) walks on the field during a team workout, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Blue Jays face the New York Yankees on opening day Thursday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

Toronto Raptors' Khem Birch (24) defends against Brooklyn Nets' Blake Griffin during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Raptors ride strong 3rd quarter to 114-103 win over Nets

Raptors ride strong 3rd quarter to 114-103 win over Nets

Team Canada's Jocelyne Larocque celebrates her goal past the U.S.A. with goaltender Embrace Maschmeyer during first period of Women's Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Stunned Canadian players head home after women’s world hockey cancellation

Stunned Canadian players head home after women’s world hockey cancellation

Health Minister Patty Hajdu is shown at a COVID-19 press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai
Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Health Canada proposes new restrictions on talc in some personal care products

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Lawmakers are debating legislation to legalize single-event betting as a bill reaches final reading in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Humphrey
Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Bill on single-game sports betting on cusp of passing — but not for first time

Most Read