TORONTO (AP) - Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors are confident they can play better.
Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton, meanwhile, found reason to be happy with his team despite another loss.
“We didn’t win like we wanted to,” Siakam said, “but we got the win and that’s all that matters.”
“They were hard to get rid of,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.
“We have to continue to get better and grow as a team,” Lowry said. “We take the win, figure it out and get better.”
Lowry has scored 20 or more six times in Toronto’s first seven games. The reigning NBA champions were 12-3 last season when Lowry had at least 20 points.
“He’s doing it all,” teammate Fred VanVleet said. “Whatever we need on a nightly basis, he’s been giving it.”
“He does everything that you want a leader to do,” Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said.
VanVleet and Marc Gasol each scored 12 for Toronto. Gasol’s total was a season high.
Harrison Barnes had a season-high 26 points, Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 13 of his 22 in the fourth quarter and Buddy Hield added 21 as the Kings had their modest two-game winning streak snapped. Sacramento had beaten Utah and New York after five straight defeats to begin the season.
“I’m happy for the direction we’re moving,” Walton said. “It’s a tough place to play, it’s the NBA champs, and they were making a lot of shots tonight.”
Fox had 17 points and nine assists for the Kings, and Cory Joseph scored 10 against his former team.
Hield missed a jump shot that would have made it a two-point game with 35 seconds left in the final period and the Raptors ahead 122-118. Ibaka grabbed the rebound, and VanVleet capped it with a pair of free throws.
“I feel like we threw punches and we landed a few,” Fox said. “We would bring it to within four and then they would execute, execute. That’s what a championship-level team does.”
The Kings matched a franchise record by making 20 3-pointers. Sacramento took 43 shots from behind the arc.
Toronto missed four straight shots to start the game, then connected on 14 in a row through the remainder of the first quarter. Lowry’s driving layup with 1.4 seconds left gave the Raptors a 13-point edge after one.
“That first quarter, we shot ourselves in the foot,” Fox said.
Walton shared those sentiments.
“We can’t give up 36 points on the road in the first quarter against the champs,” Walton said. “Now we’re playing catch up the rest of the night.”
Kings: Trailed at halftime for the second time this season. Sacramento also was behind at the half in an Oct. 26 loss at Utah. … First-year assistant coach Roy Rana began his career in Toronto, first as a high school coach and later as head coach at Ryerson University, where his team lost consecutive Canadian national championship games in 2017 and 2018. … Sacramento also made 20 3-pointers against Golden State on Jan 5, 2019.
Raptors: Patrick McCaw had surgery to remove a benign mass from his left knee. McCaw will be evaluated again in four weeks. Nurse said he expects Terence Davis, Matt Thomas and Chris Boucher to see extended minutes during McCaw’s absence. … Anunoby had a career-high five assists.
A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Canadian basketball great Eli Pasquale, who died Monday at 59. A five-time national champion at the University of Victoria, Pasquale represented Canada at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.
Kings: Conclude a three-game trip Friday at Atlanta.
Raptors: Begin a five-game road swing Friday at New Orleans.
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