SACRAMENTO -- The streak is over. After dropping their previous four games, the Sacramento Kings rode a ruckus Golden 1 Center crowd to come away with a 102-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors. But it didn’t come without plenty of drama.
As the game clock expired, Terrence Ross buried a 28-foot 3-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. Upon further review, DeMarcus Cousins tipped the ball slightly, starting the clock early and giving Sacramento the huge win.
With Cousins struggling early to stay on the floor, Rudy Gay stuffed the stat sheet against his former team. The 6-foot-8 forward finished the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the win.
Cousins managed to play just nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but he got it going in the second half. Sacramento’s All-Star center finished the evening with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while knocking down 3-for-6 from long range.
Dave Joerger mixed up his starting lineup, pushing Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos to the bench in favor of Darren Collison and Matt Barnes. Afflalo found his rhythm early, scoring all 14 of his points before the intermission. Koufos added eight points, six rebounds and blocked three shots in 26 reserve minutes.
Collison set his teammates up first before getting his own offense going. He finished with a team-high nine assists and added 15 points in his first start of the season.
With all of the attention focused on the high-scoring combination of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, big man Jonas Valanciunas got loose for Toronto.
The 7-footer missed the previous matchup between these two teams, but on Sunday night he went off for 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting and added 13 rebounds. He was all elbows around the rim, but for one of the few times this season, DeMarcus Cousins was outscored by an opposing big.
Lowry went off for 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds, including two of three free throws in the final minute to draw the Raptors to within three. He also grabbed eight rebounds, handed out six assists and picked up two steals in the loss.
For the second time this season, Sacramento held DeRozan under 30 points, which has only happened three times over the Raptors first 13 games. DeRozan managed to score just 12 points on 3-for-15 from the field and veteran wing DeMarre Carroll hit 3-of-6 from downtown on his way to 17 points.
Afflalo and Koufos took the move to the second unit like pros. Afflalo brought the offense early and Koufos energized the defense all night.
With the game hanging in the balance midway through the fourth quarter, Gay hit a 3-pointer from the elbow and then came up with a huge steal and breakaway dunk to give the Kings the lead. It was a tight game all the way down the stretch, but Gay gave his team a tremendous boost.
Sacramento not only has 13 healthy bodies in uniform, they have another two up in Reno getting minutes with the Bighorns.
The Kings finish up their five-game homestand with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday followed by the Houston Rockets on Friday night at Golden 1 Center.