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Preview: Kings (28-54) at Raptors (48-34)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 07, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
  

The Toronto Raptors barely resemble the team that traded Rudy Gay in early December, a deal that preceded their rise to the top of the Atlantic Division.

Gay returns to Toronto for the first time since being dealt when the Sacramento Kings continue a seven-game road trip Friday night.

Since trading the small forward in a seven-player deal, the Raptors (33-26) have gone 26-14 behind an offense that is scoring 101.5 points per game after averaging 97.3 in the 18 games with Gay on the floor.

The Raptors had dropped five straight contests just prior to the trade, but they haven't lost more than two in a row since.

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"(The trade) has allowed me to play more, get more accustomed to playing in games rather than just practicing," said Raptors small forward Terrence Ross, who moved into the starting lineup after Gay was moved. "It helped a lot. I got a lot more opportunity."

Point guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes were acquired from the Kings in the deal, and Vasquez and Patterson have been key contributors with both averaging nearly 10 points for Toronto.

Gay had been shooting a career-worst 38.8 percent with Toronto, but his numbers have improved in Sacramento. The eighth-year veteran is shooting 50 percent and is averaging 20.8 points since the deal, but the Kings remain well out of playoff contention.

The Raptors enter this contest well-rested after beating Golden State 104-98 on Sunday for their seventh win in nine games. DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points to lead five Toronto players in double figures.

Ross, who is averaging 10.6 points, sat out with an ankle injury but returned to practice Thursday and will likely be in the lineup against Sacramento.

An issue for the team lately has been rebounding on the defensive end. Toronto has allowed averages of 14.0 offensive rebounds and 15.3 second-chance points over its last seven, and coach Dwane Casey wants that to change once the team enters the home stretch.

"Rebounding is our biggest bugaboo right now. Defensively we're not great but solid, and we have to get those rebounds once we do get stops," Casey said. "But I know rebounding is almost like shooting, some rebounders are born and its natural to have a first reaction to the ball."

The Kings (22-39) are looking to match a season best with a third straight victory after beating New Orleans at home and Milwaukee on the road.

Sacramento shot 52 percent from the field in a 116-102 win over the NBA-worst Bucks on Wednesday that kicked off the season-high trip.

"To start it off on a positive note is obviously the way that we prefer to start," coach Michael Malone said. "For us to come in here and beat the Bucks, who have been playing better as of late, is definitely a positive. Especially with how we played."

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points to lead the Kings, while Gay added 22 and center DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento has won its last two despite poor outside shooting. In the two games, the Kings are a combined 5 of 21 from 3-point range. However, they've been efficient with a 54.2 field-goal percentage from inside the arc.

The Kings have won four straight and six of their last seven against the Raptors, including the two most recent meetings in Toronto.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +250   +7   204.5 
 TOR  -300   -7   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +250   +7   205 
 TOR  -300   -7   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  6%   32%   44% 
 TOR  94%   68%   56% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Feb 5, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 101 Over: 210 
 SAC 109 Cover: 7 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Jan 4, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SAC 105 Cover: 16 
 TOR 96 Over: 201 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 5, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 100 Over: 207 
 SAC 107 Cover: 4.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Friday, Mar 7
 
    Grizzlies at Bulls
7:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Cavaliers at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Jazz at Knicks
7:35 PM EDT
    Bucks at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    Pistons at Timberwolves
8:05 PM EDT
    Trail Blazers at Mavericks
8:35 PM EDT
    Lakers at Nuggets
9:05 PM EDT
    Pacers at Rockets
9:35 PM EDT
    Hawks at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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