Historic Toronto Raptors offensive shootout leads to victory over Sacramento Kings | NBA.com Canada

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The Toronto Raptors earned their second victory of the season, scoring a regular-season franchise record of 144 points to beat the Sacramento Kings.
Led by 34 points from Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam to a rebound before the first triple-double of his career, the Raptors looked like the former’s side for the first time this season.

For more on tonight’s victory, we’ve got 10 thoughts below.

1. Life without Kyle Lowry

Last season, the Raptors went 12-2 without their All-Star guard in the roster. Lowry missed his first contest of the season tonight (for personal reasons) and the Raptors claimed their second victory of the season.

Lowry is expected to return to the fight against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, so Toronto may not be left without their general speaking for long. Lowry is averaging almost identical numbers to last season with 19.4 points, 7.4 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 43.4% from the field and 35, 7% against 3.

2. New starting formation

The Raptors had used the same starting five – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Aron Baynes – in all seven contests leading up to tonight’s game. With Lowry out of the roster, head coach Nick Nurse was forced to turn things around and he chose to do more than just replace his floor general’s void.

The nurse put Norman Powell in the starting five and replaced Aron Baynes with Alex Len. While Powell’s move into the starting lineup paid off (which we’ll see in a minute), the decision to pitch Len didn’t pay off. Len only played that first shift (five minutes) in the game, while Baynes never saw the ground.

After a poor start to the game, especially on the defensive end, it will be interesting to see what Nurse chooses to do with the starting lineup. It should be noted that to start the second half, he went with Chris Boucher instead of Len.

3. Defenseless first quarter

The lineup change didn’t show any sort of positive output as the Raptors were obliterated defensively, allowing for a season-high 43 points in the first quarter, slightly less than the most in franchise history in the first quarter. . The Kings shot 18 for 22 (81.8%) from the field and 7 for 9 (77.8%) from a 3-point range in the first period to take a huge lead, forcing Toronto to come behind the rest. the way.

4. Another step forward for Pascal Siakam

Siakam started to come out of his crisis during the team’s loss to the Suns earlier this week and in that game he took another step forward. The All-Star forward put together a well-rounded performance that kept the Raptors tied through a run game.

Siakam finished with a strong 17-point line, a career-high 12 assists and nine rebounds, dropping just one rebound from his first career triple-double, doing anything to push Toronto to a victory.

By combining two encouraging outings, there must be a growing sense of positivity around the Toronto star.

5. Norman Powell starter

Norman Powell struggled to enter this contest averaging 9.1 points per game while shooting just 30.5% from the field and 36.7% from beyond the arc. Despite his lack of production, head coach Nurse was still confident to replace him with Lowry, as he did so many times last season.

As a starter in 2019-2020, Powell averaged 18.7 points per game while shooting 52.2% from the field and 44.4% from 3 – a major improvement over his numbers we saw this year.

The nurse appears to have pressed the correct button because Powell put together his best performance of the season, scoring 22 points while shooting 4 for 5 over the arc. Could Powell’s startup be a way to add more offensive firepower in the future? Or will this exit be enough to break his collapse, whether it begins or comes off the bench?

6. De’Aaron Fox looks healthy

Fox suffered a hamstring injury in the Kings’ win over the Chicago Bulls earlier in the week, leaving him questionable for tonight’s contest until the end of the game.

The rising star looked searing as always, playing a huge role in blazing the Raptors defense in the first quarter. His breakaway speed has been on display several times, including that end-to-end layup straight through the Toronto defense.

Fox would end the game with a team record 23 points while shooting 9 for 11 from the field with three assists and two steals.

7. Escape game by Chris Boucher

Earlier this week, following the Raptors’ loss to the Phoenix Suns, Nurse mentioned he wanted to use Chris Boucher more. It was a slight shock to see Alex Len start from Boucher, but Nurse quickly learned that the Canadian center was the best option, choosing to start Boucher to start the second half.

This decision made a difference in the game, as Boucher achieved one of his best performances as an NBA player. Boucher made all the difference, starting for a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double to go with three blocks, two assists and one steal.

It becomes evident that Boucher is Toronto’s best option at center and starting the second half may be the only indicator we need to see him become the starting center to move forward.

8. Don’t forget Fred VanVleet

Substituting as team manager and playmaker without Kyle Lowry in the lineup, Fred VanVleet has done what he does best: keep things stable.

VanVleet single-handedly kept the Raptors’ offense in the first quarter when the Kings shot. He never cooled off throughout the game, starting for a record 34 points, just two off his career high. VanVleet had a 13-for-22 (59.1%) efficient from the field and 5-for-9 (55.6%) over the arc to keep Toronto’s foot on the accelerator, adding seven assists to help teammates.

Games like this show exactly why VanVleet’s re-signing was so important this offseason, always ready to hold things back when the Raptors need more of him.

9. Tyrese Haliburton continues to impress

Heading into tonight’s game, Haliburton was ranked No. 1 on my rookie scale for his impactful start to the season. The No.12 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has continued to have outsiders questioning how he has fallen so far in the draft, giving the Kings precious minutes where he has shown balance well beyond. beyond his experience.

He’s had a handful of flagship games like this savvy lob for center Richaun Holmes.

Haliburton finished the contest with 15 points (5-10 FG, 5-7 3PT), eight assists, two rebounds, two steals and one block.

dix. And after?

The Raptors will be back in action on Sunday when they face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. The Kings will play the second half of a straight game tomorrow against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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