SACRAMENTO – There was a silky smooth mid-distance jump and then a triple and then another as Pascal Siakam proved in 79 seconds of basketball on Friday that he has very little memory.
That personal bombardment to start the second half here, after Siakam missed the final minutes of the second receiving three points to close a cut on his right eyebrow, helped Toronto to a 108-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings and provided some redemption. for the Raptors forward.

Siakam would finish with 32 points – Gary Trent was equally dominant offensively with 23 – when the Raptors snapped a three-game losing streak with a thrashing of a dubious Sacramento franchise that looks destined to make a coaching change soon.

It was a sweet performance from Siakam, who was coming off his worst game of the season, a four-point pot, four turnovers and a rebound in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

But with his coaching coach Rico Hines on the Kings bench as assistant coach and with the little memory needed NBA players must have, Siakam made his first four field goal attempts in a 13-point first quarter that He got him and the team out. on the right foot.

“My take on him right now is you have a bad smell sometimes, man,” Nick Nurse said of Siakam before the game. “That’s why they did back-to-backs.

“Put it down and let’s go out and get a performance like you know you can play and chase it tonight.”

Siakam was much more himself on Friday, as were the Raptors as a group. They took control of the game in the second quarter, primarily with a group of Trent and backups Dalano Banton, Precious Achiuwa, Svi Mykhailiuk and Chris Boucher punishing the Kings with their length and speed and never took their foot off the gas.

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After starting this six-game road trip with losses in Portland and Utah and a tough game against Golden State on Sunday, the Raptors needed a confidence boost.

They did it against a Kings team that is in disarray and with legitimate concerns about coach Luke Walton’s future job status.

The Raptors got a boost with the return of Precious Achiuwa, who came off the bench behind starting center Khem Birch.

It allowed Nurse to once again rotate the big two throughout the game, a formula that was successful early in the season.

“I think losing our size for a while with Khem and Precious – this is the first time they come back in maybe eight games; one has left or the other, ”Nurse said.

“I thought immediately when we had those two guys and they started sharing that position (that) gave us a good defensive shot with some protection on the rim.”

The struggling Kings were also the tonic for Toronto’s anemic defense. After looking unsatisfactory in back-to-back losses to Detroit, Portland and Utah, the Raptors limited the Kings to less than 40 percent shooting and a whopping 9 of 36 from three-point range.

“The questions (about the team’s defense) are justified because we’ve had three or four or maybe even more games where the defense hasn’t been itself,” Nurse said. “That is a bit worrisome. You say the effort is there? Maybe it wasn’t a game. I think it was other games. “

The effort was definitely there on Friday when the Raptors dominated in every category imaginable.



Reference-www.thestar.com

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