The Raptors are undoubtedly coming off their worst stretch of the season – losing three of their last four games. In those three losses, they’ve lost by an average of 20.6 points.
Now the Raptors are back home only for a brief moment – on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back – and still have to face 9 of their next 12 games away from home.
In other words, we could be in for a grueling couple weeks.
But, there’s hope…. For tonight at least.
The Raptors have been relatively comfortable against the Kings at home in recent history. De facto, the Kings haven’t beaten the Raps at the ACC in eight years – giving up an average of 111.9 points along the way.
That’s not favorable news for the Kings, who have already had road woes this season – losing all four of their away games. In addition, their leading scorer Marcus Thornton – who is averaging 18.7 ppg – missed the Kings’ loss in Philadelphia (who are flying this year, by the way) last night, and is doubtful for tonight’s game.
However, against all odds, the winless Washington Wizards abused the Raptors at the Verizon Center last night; so the Raptors absolutely can’t take the Kings for granted tonight.
I won’t touch on last night’s game too much, as Joshua Howe already did a great job of doing so ; but I will say this: The Raptors absolutely need to (and dramatically) cut down on their turnovers.
They also need to get DeMar DeRozan going. In last season’s 118-112 victory over the Kings at the ACC, DeRozan scored 28 points. They need that same kind of effort tonight, as he’s scored just 31 points in the last four games combined.
Bargnani is also seemingly at stat machine against the Kings – averaging 25.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in the Raptors’ last three home meetings with Sacramento.
Tip-off is at 7 PM Eastern.