|Kings face daunting task in Raptors|
TORONTO -- The Sacramento Kings will have a difficult assignment Sunday afternoon when they visit the Toronto Raptors.
The Kings could not handle the Raptors in Sacramento last Sunday, losing 102-87, and face the possibility of playing at the Air Canada Centre without guards De'Aaron Fox and Malachi Richardson.
Fox is listed as doubtful after suffering a bruised right thigh Thursday in the 119-96 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 19-year-old rookie is averaging 9.7 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists. He has started the Kings past 16 games.
Richardson is listed as questionable after injuring his left ankle during practice Saturday in Minneapolis before the team left for Toronto. He is averaging 3.6 in 13 games.
The Raptors injury situation has improved. Coach Dwane Casey said after practice Saturday that reserve guard/forward C.J. Miles is "good to go" after sitting out the 120-87 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday with a sore left shoulder.
Reserve guard Delon Wright returned after missing 12 games with a dislocated right shoulder to score seven points in 16 minutes against the Nets. Casey said Saturday that Wright was feeling no ill effects the day after his return.
"It was good to get him some run and conditioning in getting up and down," Casey said. "I thought he did a good job of moving his feet defensively, moving the ball."
The Raptors (19-8) are 10-1 at home this season and the Kings (9-19) are 4-12 on the road.
Sacramento is coming off a disappointing effort at Minnesota.
"We didn't play with enough force," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "They did pretty much anything they wanted to do to us, so it was very frustrating."
The Kings committed 14 turnovers leading to 18 points for the Timberwolves on Thursday.
"It was lack of focus," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "Guys just not catching the ball, not passing the ball, not dribbling the basketball. The ones that are out in front of God and everybody just make you scratch your head."
The Kings shot only 41.4 percent from the field against the Timberwolves, and they could not compensate with tough defense.
"Guard, that's how you stop people, you guard them and it makes it tough on them," Kings guard Buddy Hield said. "And no matter if you make or miss shots, the game will come to you and you'll find a way to grind it out.
"We've got to make them work a little bit harder and they've got to see a little bit more."
It sounds like a plan for the game against the Raptors.
The Raptors are on a roll. They have won eight of their past nine games. Their second unit had picked up the struggling starters early in the season, but now the starters are playing well while the reserves have struggled.
DeMar DeRozan, who scored 31 points Friday, has 68 points over the past two games on 60.5 percent shooting.
Kyle Lowry had 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds Friday to earn the 11th career triple-double of his career, his franchiseh-high ninth for the Raptors.
Lowry was the only starter to play in the fourth quarter Friday and he was left in for only 1:45 until he collected his 10th rebound of the game to complete the triple-double.
"I think we needed it; I think we needed to get a game like that where we could kind of rest a little bit," Lowry said. "Coach wanted me to get that triple-double, so he left me in a little bit longer. My teammates did a good job tonight. We passed the ball well and DeMar (DeRozan) had a great game. It was a good win for us.
"That's the consistency we must have. Every game we have to get better every single night. Every night we have to be pushing ourselves to get better and not be satisfied with one or two wins. We must keep getting better and continuing to grow."