Siakam, the bench and team defence all back in order in Raptors win over Kings

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Raptors coach Nick Nurse called on his bench. He called on Pascal Siakam and he called on his defence.


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He got the answers he was hoping for from all three as the Raptors put a tough loss in Utah the night before behind them and on the back end of a back-to-back routed the Sacramento Kings 108-89.

It was just the second win in the past eight games but a much needed one even if it came over the lowly Kings.

It was also the first win through three games on the six-game trip and a confidence boost that was necessary as they improved to 8-9 and 6-3 on the road.

The get-well night for Siakam wasn’t just a rebound night, it was a super efficient night as he scored 32 points on just 12 shots.

Credit Siakam for staying with it because the way the night began, it would have been oh so easy to just shut down after his first two possessions wound up being turnovers.


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But he got it going and started making those turn around shots and in-rhythm shots that have been his calling card and never looked back.

With a 30-point lead after three quarters it looked like Raptors head coach Nick Nurse just might be able to buy extended rest for his starters until the Kings went on a 13-2 run to open the fourth and Nurse had to go back to his starters.

It was the one blip on an otherwise stellar night for the visiting Raptors.

It was actually the bench unit towards the end of the first quarter and into the second that helped put his game on the blowout trajectory it found.

A group of Dalano Banton, Precious Achiuwa, Chris Boucher and Svi Mykhailiuk with Gary Trent Jr. sticking around from the starting group outscored the Kings 15-1 as the Raptors began pulling away.


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Pre-game Nurse was very pointed about what he had seen from his bench of late and it wasn’t very complimentary.

“We’ve had a couple of what I would say, well, we’ve got outplayed by the second units here a couple in a row and my first answer to (how we turn this thing around) is our guys need to play better,” Nurse said. “The guys who are getting chances need to because they can play better.”

Then defensively the Raptors finally started to look like the defensive Raptors again holding the Kings under 40% for the game and just nine makes on 36 attempts from three to find their defensive DNA after it had been missing for the past handful of games.

The return of  Achiuwa was key in this one as well re-establishing a physical presence that when there, just feeds the entire Raptors roster.

The team will have a day off in San Francisco after back to back games before taking on the red-hot Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

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