Leonard returns to help Raptors improve to NBA-best 11-1
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 11 rebounds in his return from an ankle injury, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Sacramento Kings 114-105 to improve the NBA’s best record to 11-1.
Pascal Siakam scored 21 points, Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry added 16 points and eight assists for the Raptors.
Toronto has won five straight since its lone loss this season at Milwaukee on Oct. 29.
Leonard sat out the previous two games and got off to a sluggish start early against the Kings before helping Toronto pull away.
The two-time AllStar scored 10 points in the second quarter and 10 in the third, including a soaring, one-handed dunk through traffic. Leonard also made a pivotal 3-pointer in the fourth after Sacramento had pulled to 106-99.
Toronto has won three straight against the Kings.
Willie Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield scored 24 points apiece for Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox added 20 points, and second overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III had 13.
The Kings have lost two straight since winning five in a row.
Toronto ended the first quarter on a 154 run, then took control once Leonard got going in the second after Sacramento got in foul trouble.
Leonard made five free throws in the period, one coming after frustrated Kings coach Dave Joerger was hit with a technical foul for arguing with officials. Leonard also had a 3pointer that put the Raptors up 49-40.
Jeff Green added back-to-back 3s and OG Anunoby followed with a steal and dunk as Toronto took a 64-51 halftime lead.
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, left, talks with teammate Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif.