Grades from Toronto Raptors' tight victory vs Sacramento Kings

The Toronto Raptors made it three wins in a row as they knocked off the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. How did everyone grade in the win?

Lazy loading placeholder

Toronto Raptors - OG Anuoby (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After a rough start to their west coast road trip, the Toronto Raptors are rolling with three straight wins after knocking off the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. It wasn't always a clean-cut game, but it was a fun 48 minutes of basketball where the Raptors were able to prevail over a Kings team that still has a chance to make the playoffs.

It was a win that really came to life in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, though. Pascal Siakam had initially struggled for large parts of the game but came clutch in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his 23 points in the final two and a half minutes of the ball game.

That, along with a strong game from Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell, was able to negate a bad performance by the bench. The back-up unit, led by Patrick McCaw and the returning Marc Gasol, was outscored 51-7 and was decimated when on the court. Gasol obviously showed signs of fatigue but also flashed a skill-set that will be so vital to the Raptors come playoff time.

His spacing, passing, and interior defense are all assets that mesh perfectly with this Raptors team. However, it'll be interesting to see if Gasol will eventually become a starter once more or if Serge Ibaka will be rewarded during, potentially, the best season of his career.

Ibaka had 15 points and 10 rebounds and provided a sturdy presence on the glass for the Raptors, despite the team being killed 36-50 in the rebounds category. The Kings defended the interior particularly well too, but the Raptors were able to knock down 39-percent of their three-pointers, which included a combined 12 threes from Powell, who had a game-high 31 points, and Lowry who had an equally impressive 30.

With just one game left on the road trip, the Raptors can't afford to show signs of fatigue. A tough game in Utah awaits them.

Starter Grades

Lazy loading placeholder

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry

Point Guard | Toronto Raptors
A+
As always, Lowry was there for the Toronto Raptors in the biggest moments. He was all action in the second quarter when the offense was slowing down and came up big again in the fourth quarter with the Raptors on the ropes. His outside shooting was on point, he barrelled to the rim and dished out dimes along the way. A cool 30 points on 15 shots and the win. Oh, and he played the entire fourth quarter with five fouls, a daring payoff.
Norman Powell

Norman Powell

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
A+
A team-high 16, Norman Powell was exactly as good as he's been since returning from injury: so damn good. He was the Raptors' leading scorer and primary shot-taker, knocking down 31 points on 11-of-12 shooting and 6-of-12 from deep. He's becoming more important to this team with every passing game, and come the playoffs, his impact will be even more vital.
OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby

Small Forward | Toronto Raptors
B
A strong game on both ends from OG Anunoby, tallying 12 points and hitting 2-of-3 from deep. He definitely wasn't as active on the boards as he has been recently, and that hurt the Raptors, and his defense wasn't the All-NBA calibre we've seen recently, but he got the job done.
Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
B+
A clutch late-game performance from Pascal Siakam, despite struggling for most of the game heading into the final moments. The action with guards, especially Lowry, screening for him is deadly and the Kings had no answer for it late. He hit a step-back three-pointer and got the Raptors rolling with a nice drive and finish late in the game, an impressive display late in the day.
Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

Center | Toronto Raptors
B+
His three-ball wasn't falling as it has in recent games, but Serge Ibaka still managed to be a positive presence for the Raptors. He protected the rim, swatted shots, and grabbed tough rebounds. Now that Gasol has returned, it'll be interesting to see if he continues to start.
3 of 4

Bench Grades

Lazy loading placeholder

Marc Gasol (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Patrick McCaw

Patrick McCaw

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
D
While there isn't anything new to be said about Patrick McCaw, we can definitively say that he was a -17 in a six-point victory for the Raptors. A rare three-pointer from McCaw were his only points of the game, other than that, his offense actively hurt the Raptors again. Lucky for him, no one on the bench played all that well.
Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol

Center | Toronto Raptors
C
Ah welcome back, Big Burrito. We've missed you. As expected, Gasol had a certain ring rust about him - not a surprise considering his lengthy layoff. The legs weren't there all the time and the shot didn't fall, but having him back on the court is a bonus in itself.
4 of 4

Head Coach and Opponent

Lazy loading placeholder

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse

Head Coach | Toronto Raptors
B
The decision to roll with Kyle Lowry throughout the entire fourth quarter, even with five fouls, was a great decision, and not one that many coaches would go for. Also, the decision to continue to play Patrick McCaw is one that not many coaches would go for. That's a problem but the Raptors have enough talent to outweigh that decision. They made big plays in the games biggest moments and that got the win.

Sacramento Kings

(28-36) | Western Conference
B-
Luke Walton's decision to leave Buddy Hield, the reigning Three-Point Contest CHAMPION on the bench with six seconds left while the Kings were down by THREE was baffling. The Kings' bench kept them in this one, outscoring the Raptors bench by 45 points, which is something. Their inability to defend the three while knocking it down effectively hurt them, but Walton's team attacked the paint, grabbed boards and played like a team that can still make a run for the postseason.
Next: Raptors are realising their defensive potential

Three on the bounce and one more game left on the road trip, the Raptors are rolling.