Kawhi Leonard Returns As the Raptors Rise to 11-1

Rex Christensen
November 11, 2018

He's trying to stay focused on the nuances of coach Nick Nurse's offense.

Led by three double-figure rebounders (Leonard, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas), the Raptors outrebounded the Kings 53-31 for the game. "With me not even knowing some of the offence, we have Kyle (Lowry) in the game most of the time and he's controlling the ball and most of the tempo".

Despite the absence of Leonard, the Raptors have won their last two games, beating the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz comfortably.

The Raptors are off to their best start in franchise history after defeating the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. And teammate Danny Green will take it. "You look up and down the line, the only thing we beat them in was rebounding".

That's for sure. It also helps that despite missing Leonard for the past two games, Toronto didn't run into any problems.

The third-year forward's improvement has been one of the driving factors to the Raptors' hot start - it was his second 20-point scoring performance of the season and ninth time scoring in double figures. Toronto didn't get to the line almost as much in the second half, but the team showed that it's capable of doing so.

The Kings will get a big boost, though, as guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is set to make his season debut following an offseason procedure to fix a torn meniscus in his left knee.

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Twice, once in the third and again with just under five minutes to go, the Kings got the deficit down to seven only to see that number swell again each time following a Raptors' timeout. Leonard also had a 3-pointer that put the Raptors up 49-40.

Pascal Siakam, who is gaining confidence in his offensive game with each and every minute he's on the floor, had 19 in the game, three off his season high of 22 set in Milwaukee.

"We were lucky to come out with this one, '" he said after the game.

Led by Kawhi Leonard, who shot a flawless 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, the Raptors finished the game shooting 21-for-23 from the free throw line, sinking eight more free throws than the Kings. His shot wasn't falling early - just 2-6 in the first half - but he scored 12 points on 7-7 from the free throw line, and grabbed six boards before halftime. Norman Powell was held out because of a left shoulder injury sustained Monday against Utah.

Following their matchup with the Kings, Toronto will return home to take on the New York Knicks on Saturday.

Kings: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

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