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Sacramento at Toronto

Venue: Air Canada Centre

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.

"(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.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Sacramento4th Pacific 23.40032-3Lost 1
Toronto3rd Atlantic 33.5001.53-3Lost 1

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Key Players
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32.2 Min. Per Game 38.2 DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan, SG
22.3 Pts. Per Game 22.9
2.9 Ast. Per Game 3.9
11.6 Reb. Per Game 4.5
48.3 Field Goal % 43.4
0.0 Three Point % 30.1
72.9 Free Throw % 80.7
Series Game Log
Oct 26Toronto 
Feb 12Toronto 
Mar 17 @ Detroit 
Apr 5 @ Detroit 
Other Games
Mem 85 Final
Chi 77
Cle 92 Final
Char 101
Brook 84 Final
Bos 91
Utah 81 Final
NY 108
Mil 104 Final
NO 112
Det 101 Final
Min 114
Port 98 Final
Dal 103
LAL 126 Final
Den 134
Ind 86 Final
Hou 112
Atl 97 Final
GS 111