LOS ANGELES, USA – Despite resting star Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors bagged their 36th win of the NBA season with a 120-105 triumph over the Sacramento Kings in the Eastern Conference at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, January 22 (Wednesday, January 23, Manila time)
The Kings, who fell to 24-24 after the loss, jolted the home crowd after taking a 34-29 first-quarter lead.
But the Raptors clicked into gear in the 2nd quarter to build a four-point lead at halftime which held onto after the interval.
Point guard Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet had 19 points each, while teammate Pascal Siakam once again impressed with 18 points.
Center Serge Ibaka again had a monster night, snagging 10 rebounds while chipping in with 15 points for the Raptors.
Toronto ace Leonard, meanwhile, is expected to be rested once again when the Raptors face the Pacers in Indianapolis before coming back to the starting lineup for Friday’s test against Houston.
“It was just a chance to get him some extended rest. We’re sitting him out this back-to-back and he’s definitely gonna play Friday in Houston,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said of Leonard.
Nurse was happy with the performance of Lowry, who dictated the Raptors tempo while also providing 9 assists.
“I think he looked a little bit more like himself here tonight,” Nurse said.
The Raptors are now lying in second in the Eastern Conference on 36-13, 3.5 games clear of the third-placed Pacers.
Milwaukee lead the standings in the East. – Rappler.com