Raptors-Kings pregame notes

• The Toronto Raptors continue a three-game homestand (Jan. 27-31) by hosting the Sacramento Kings on Friday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Raptors won 144-123 on Jan. 8 at Sacramento to extend its winning streak against the Kings to seven straight games. Toronto has swept the season-series with Sacramento each of the past three seasons (2017-20). The last time the Raptors lost to the Kings was Nov. 20, 2016 when a game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer by Terrence Ross was overturned on video replay.
• Toronto set a regular season franchise record by scoring 144 points earlier this month when they faced Sacramento. The Raptors shot a season-best .582 (53-for-91) from the field and .513 (20-for-39) from three-point range in the victory. Fred VanVleet scored 19 of his game-high 34 points in the second-half as the Raptors scored a season-high 72 points. Toronto scored 150 points Aug. 24, 2020 in Game 4 of its first round playoff series against Brooklyn.
• The Raptors enter Friday’s game with a 2-6 record against Western Conference opponents. Chicago (10) is the only Eastern Conference team who has played more cross-conference games this season. Indiana has also played eight games vs. the West. The Raptors will face three more Western Conference opponents – Minnesota (twice), Memphis and Houston – before the midseason break.
Norman Powell scored a season and team-high 26 points in his fourth consecutive start Wednesday vs. Milwaukee. Powell has now started in seven games this season and scored 20+ points five times. He had a 22-point performance Jan. 8 at Sacramento. Powell has scored at least 20 points in four straight games (Jan. 15-27). His career-high for consecutive games with 20 points is five (Feb. 28 – Mar. 8, 2020).
Kyle Lowry (10,019) joined DeMar DeRozan (13,296) and Chris Bosh (10,275) as the only players in franchise history to score 10,000 career points Jan. 27 vs. Milwaukee. Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Washington’s Bradley Beal and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only active players with 10,000 points with their current team. Lowry is Toronto’s all-time leader in three-pointer made (1,431), assists (4,035) and steals (842).
Pascal Siakam (5) and Chris Boucher (4) lead the team in double-doubles this season. The last time Toronto faced Sacramento on Jan. 8 the frontcourt duo combined for 40 points, 14 assists and 19 rebounds, while both recording a double-double.
• OG Anunoby has scored at least 10 points in a career-long nine consecutive games (Jan. 10-25). Anunoby scored a season-high 30 points during Toronto’s Jan. 24 win at Indiana. He is averaging 16.8 points and is shooting .515 (53-103) from the field, .577 (30-52) from three-point range and .833 (15-18) at the
free throw line, during this streak.
• Toronto has missed at least one starter due to injury in each of the last four games (Jan. 24-27). As a result, the Raptors have used a different staring five in each of their last five games. Toronto has used eight different staring lineups through the first quarter of the season. Fred VanVleet is the only player to start all 18 games for the Raptors this year.


MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES GAMES POSTPONED: On Thursday, January 21, 2021, the NBA announced that the Sacramento Kings games at Memphis on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 have been postponed in accordance with the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols.
The games are being postponed due to unavailable players for the Grizzlies and contact tracing for other players on their roster, and in
order to ensure the health and safety of players on both teams. A date for the rescheduled games will be announced at a later time.
SHOOTERS SHOOT: Buddy Hield currently has the longest active streak in the NBA for making at least one three-pointer a game. According
to Elias Sports Bureau, Hield has a streak of 83 games with at least one made three-pointer in a game.
83 Buddy Hield 11/03/2019 – 1/27/2021
80 Stephen Curry 12/01/2018 – 1/27/2021
79 Joe Harris 11/12/2019 – 1/25/2021 (Ended on 1/27/21)
48 Fred VanVleet 12/20/2019 – 1/27/2021
39 Karl-Anthony Towns 10/23/2019 – 1/13/2021
Hield is also second in the NBA in three-point field goals made with 67. Hield has taken 2,057 three-point attempts as a member of the
Sacramento Kings and has passed Mike Bibby for third in the Sacramento-era on the Kings All-Time three-point attempts list.
HOLMES IS WHERE THE BASKET IS: Richaun Holmes ranks second the NBA in field goal percentage with .681 percent. Holmes now ranks second in franchise history through the teams first 15 games for the highest field goal percentage (min. 100 FGA), trailing Otis Thorpe who shot .731 percent during the 1985-86 season.
LEAGUE-WIDE RANKINGS: Individually, Richaun Holmes ranks second in the League in field goal percentage with .681 percent. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton is tied for third amongst all rookies in scoring (11.1 ppg) and second in assists (5.0), 6th in field goal percentage (.485), tied for third in three-point field goal percentage (.457), fifth in steals (1.1) per game and is 16th amongst all players in the NBA in threepoint percentage (.457) per game. As a team, Sacramento is tied for second in the NBA in free throws attempted (25.2) and eigth in free throws made (18.1) per game. The Kings also rank 10th in the NBA in pace and are tied for 14th in points per game (112.9) while also being ranked 7th in turnovers (13.8), tied for 9th in fast break points per game (14.1 ppg). To round it out, the Kings rank fourth in the NBA in points in the paint per game (52.7).
NO FOX GIVEN: De’Aaron Fox set a new career-high with 43 points on a career-high tying 17 made baskets to go along with a season-high
13 assists vs. New Orleans on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Fox is the first player in the Sac-Era and first player
in franchise history to score at least 40 points and have 10 assists in a game since Tiny Archibald did so on March 13, 1973 for the Kansas
City Royals.
Also vs. New Orleans on Sunday, Jan. 17, Fox entered the fourth quarter with 33 points and 11 assists. Fox is the first Kings player to score
at least 30 points and have at least 10 assists through three quarters in a game since Mike Bibby had 31 points and 10 assists at LA Clip- pers (12/27/05).
HOT ROOKIE TYRESE: Tyrese Haliburton returned to the lineup Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 after missing two games to injury. Haliburton
finished with 17 points but scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to help the Kings secure victory. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Hali- burton is the first Kings rookie since Buddy Hield scored 15 points in a fourth quarter. Hield scored 15 points vs. Phoenix on Apr. 11, 2017.
Additionally, Haliburton is the second rookie to score at least 15 points in a fourth quarter this season. Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota
Timberwolves scored 15 points on Jan. 1, 2021 vs. Washington.
BLOCK PARTY: Richaun Holmes recorded a career-high six blocks Monday, Jan. 11 vs. Indiana. The sixth block coming on a goal-tending
call that was then overtuned on an official review.
JANUARY HOME SLATE: The Sacramento Kings opened a 7-game homestand on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 with a 128-124 victory over
the Chicago Bulls. This is the second instance in Sac-Era that the Kings have had a 7-game homestand. In January of 2017, the Kings were
on a 7-game homestand between Jan. 4, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2017. The Kings went 1-6 in that stretch.
HOT SCORING START: According to ESPN Stats & Info, Sacramento has scored 455 points through the first four games are the most points in the first four games in the Sac-Era and the second most in Franchise History (Most: 486 points in 1960-61 in Oscar Robertson’s rookie
SEASON OPENER THRILLER: Sacramento defeated the Denver Nuggets 124-122 in Overtime in the season opener:
The Sacramento Kings 124-122 OT win over the Denver Nuggets was the first win in the Mile High City since Jan. 3, 2017 (116-110 win) and
snaps a 6-game losing streak in Denver.
Per @EliasSports, Wednesday night’s overtime victory for the Kings is the first season opening game to go into overtime in the Sac-era
and the second time in franchise history (Nov. 5, 1955, a 100-98 loss to the New York Knicks in Rochester).
Since tracking began in 96-97, Buddy Hield’s game-winner is the second game-winner on opening night in Kings franchise history. Jason
Thompson had a go ahead put back dunk with :42 seconds left, also against the Nuggets on Oct. 30, 2013.

Leafs 4, Oilers 3 quotes


Q. Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press: What have you liked about your team and how have they grown in these one goal games so far this season?

Sheldon Keefe: I like the way that we’ve found ways to come out on the positive side of it when it counts the most. Whether it’s how many games now we’ve had a really big penalty kill very late in the game with the game on the line, we find our way through those. We gave up the lead and then we bounce right back and get it and then make sure we finish the job. That’s been a theme. I like that. I think the thing I like most of all, for the most part, we’ve defended really well as a team, not perfect, but we’ve defended — I guess well maybe is not the right term, we’ve defended hard.

The guys are working in and have really significantly cut down on the high danger chances and odd-man rushes. The players have been really committed to that. It’s been far from perfect. We’ve got a lot of areas to grow. We’re not even close to being the team that I think we can be and the team that we would need to be, but a lot of positive things that have gotten us to be 7-2. I think the greatest news of all is that none of the games have been perfect and there’s lots of room for growth still.

Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Sheldon, specifically tonight, what do you think of the team’s performance, especially when it got a little bizarre there towards the end with all the penalties?

Sheldon Keefe: I really liked our first period, liked a lot of things about it, liked how we defended. Again, offensively, we didn’t have a great deal, but we defended real well, they broke loose a couple times and it was really just as a result of some of our mistakes with the puck. When we make mistakes with the puck, like they do as a team, the Oilers, they transition very well and that’s when their best players come alive. When it was time to defend, we didn’t give them anything in the first period at all.

The same thing in the second period. When we made it hard on ourselves and we gave them the puck back they got some life, but, for the most part — I didn’t like the third goal, the Kassian goal. I didn’t like that goal defensively, but aside from that our team’s defended really well. Ultimately that’s why we’re sitting where we are. There’s a lot of things within our process of how we play with the puck that can improve and obviously we have to stay out of the penalty box. The penalties have been crazy. It’s just not good enough.

Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: Lots will be made, of course, of the guys that scored tonight, but Morgan Riley had a terrific game. He looks really like he did two years ago. You didn’t see that firsthand. What have you thought of the way Morgan is as a healthy defenceman, as opposed to the guy that was a bit sidelined last year?

Sheldon Keefe: I think he’s skating really well. I think these three Oiler games that we’ve played, in particular, he’s played for the most part against McDavid, he and Brodie, and that’s a matchup that a year ago he wouldn’t have had. Now we’ve given him that and he’s taken that on and I think he’s done a really good job with it. He’s still played his game offensively, but he’s defended fast and hard and competitive. He’s been really good.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Sheldon, other than the fact that it’s scoring so often, what have you liked the most about how the power play is operating to start the year?

Sheldon Keefe: I just like that the guys have adjusted well whether it’s Simmonds going in on the net front, whether it’s the fact that, for the most part, we’ve used two competitive units and spread it out, and the guys have adjusted well with that, whether when Jumbo was there, it was going well, and now Kerfoot’s come in and he’s done well.

Times when we’ve put the two units together and put Tavares, Nylander, Matthews and Marner together, those guys have done well as a group. Whatever we’ve done, the players have responded well, and in a season with no exhibition and very limited practice time that’s a really, really good, positive thing. Credit to the players for executing and for Manny for the plan that he’s put together for those guys.

Sheldon Keefe: Yeah, I think the rest is important. We’ve got to try to manage that when we can when it comes to Spezz. I thought he gave us some good things here today, whether it was power play, obviously got us a goal, that line had some good shifts at different times. I think he needs to not take that penalty, but whenever we called on him today, power play, faceoffs, 5-on-5, he did a good job. That’s what you’re looking for in terms of the depth on your team.


Q. Joshua Clipperton, Canadian Press: What have you liked about your team in one goal games this year? 

Frederik Andersen: It’s just finding a way. I think it’s big, that’s how you get points by not letting them tie the game up late and, I think, sticking with the process even though it’s a game that goes back and forth. Obviously, we don’t want to put ourselves in that situation every time we have a lead, but from what I’ve seen so far I like the way we keep playing. Our resiliency has been good.

Q. Joshua Clipperton, Canadian Press: It was sort of a weird game with all the penalties, momentum shifts, what did you see from where you sat?

Frederik Andersen: Yeah exactly, a lot of calls, a lot of opportunities for both teams to score on special teams. I think that was huge for us again. Just answering when they tied it up and we go right down and score on our power play. That was big and, again, shows you the resiliency and not letting those momentum swings bother us too much.



Q. Josh Clipperton, Canadian Press: You guys only had 10 one-goal victories last year. You’re already at your fifth and Mitch also scored an empty-netter with less than a second left, which would have been a sixth. What have you seen differently with the group in terms of how you’ve been able to battle in these tight games?

Auston Matthews: I think we just, as a five man unit as well as Fred, try to keep it tight back there and limit their chances, limit them to the outside, and just do the best job that we can.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: A bit of a weird game with all of the special teams time tonight. What’s your sense of how the team handled it and got it done eventually when the powerplay chances did come your way?

Auston Matthews: We got the win which is all that matters. Obviously, a lot of disruptive flow, I think. We’re taking way too many penalties right now but special teams came up big. A couple big penalty kills. A couple of big power play goals for us and sometimes that’s the way the game goes, special teams have got to come through. Obviously, we squeak out with this one but some guys came up with big plays on both ends for us tonight and Freddie was a brick wall for us as well.

Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What’s standing out to you about the power play to start the season? What’s making it so effective?

Auston Matthews: I think we’ve been flowing pretty nice with these two units. We’re moving it well. I just think the biggest thing is that when we need a goal it seems like we’re coming through. It’s obviously a positive for us and special teams is a big part of the game so we just want to continue that momentum.

Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: What have you liked about the way Morgan has been playing this year? 

Auston Matthews: I love it. He’s a huge part of this team. When he’s healthy like he is right now, he’s an elite defenceman. Plays a huge role for us. It’s always fun getting out there with him when he’s moving the way he is and the way he can, getting involved on both ends of the ice, it just makes our jobs easier in all three zones. He’s been doing an awesome job for us. Like I said, he’s a huge part of this team so obviously we’re very lucky to have him.


Q. Mark Masters, TSN: How did you how did you feel coming into this game? You feel like the legs were fresher? How did you feel?

Jason Spezza: Sheldon told me that it’s been a lot of hockey in a short period of time, thought I could benefit from a day of rest and with a day off yesterday, it gave me some time to recover. Obviously, he was right. I felt good tonight and a little bit extra jump. It’s good when things like that work out.

Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: Jason, have you seen this team mature in your time with them? You guys look a little bit more confident, look a little bit more structured, it’s mostly the same players. What’s the difference in your mind?

Jason Spezza: I think there’s definitely a belief that’s growing within our group. We feel like we can still do better when we have leads, we’ve had lots of leads and given a few up, but been resilient and find a way to be gritty and just get wins at the end. Winning breeds confidence and we’re starting to believe that we can win every night. That’s a good feeling for a team, but we still feel like there’s little ways we can go to locking games down better, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Jason in the bigger picture, Sheldon’s wanted to bring the fourth line guys in and out to utilize the taxi squad. That seems to have been working, certainly, in this little streak you’re on. Could you comment on that?

Jason Spezza: As a player, you just get yourself ready to play. When you’re told to play, you try to play and do your role. Obviously, you like to play every night, but you have to respect the coach’s decisions. When you’re not playing, you’ve got to take the rest and make sure you’re ready to go. For us on the fourth line, we want to be able to give good shifts, we want to be able to help out when we can, and really try to drive possession and make sure that we’re setting the other lines up for good shifts, too. It’s an important role, and you have to stay in the game. I thought tonight we did a good job and just keep moving forward.

On second night of back-to-back, Warriors fall to Suns 114-93 — Marin Independent Journal

Stephen Curry had 27 points but not much help Thursday night in the Warriors’ 114-93 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

On second night of back-to-back, Warriors fall to Suns 114-93 — Marin Independent Journal

Clippers Rally From 18 Points Down, Top Ailing Heat 109-105 — CBS Los Angeles

Actual ticketholders were back at a Miami Heat game for the first time since March. The Los Angeles Clippers had many of them deciding to leave early.

Clippers Rally From 18 Points Down, Top Ailing Heat 109-105 — CBS Los Angeles

Kiszla: In weird, lonely slog of NHL’s season of COVID, grit counts as much as skill in Avs’ 3-0 victory over San Jose — The Denver Post

Hockey gods, hear my prayer. Could you hip check that COVID-19 creep so hard into the boards the virus can’t get back up? Could you find a way to get Denver fans back in an eerily empty arena before the NHL playoffs begin? Yes, we need our vaccines and peace of mind, first and foremost.…

Kiszla: In weird, lonely slog of NHL’s season of COVID, grit counts as much as skill in Avs’ 3-0 victory over San Jose — The Denver Post

Brewers’ Goodrum 1st female minor league hitting coordinator — MLB | NBC Sports

Sara Goodrum has been promoted to minor league hitting coordinator by the Milwaukee Brewers, apparently making her the first woman to have that role in any Major League Baseball organization.

Brewers’ Goodrum 1st female minor league hitting coordinator — MLB | NBC Sports

Maple Leafs 4, Oilers 3: postgame notes

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (7-2-0 – 14 Points) vs.

EDMONTON OILERS (3-6-0 – 6 Points)



GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


  • Jason Spezza put the Maple Leafs on the board at 9:29 of the first period before collecting the secondary assist on William Nylander’s first period goal. Spezza has three points (1-2-3) over his last three games played. Tonight’s game is his first multi-point performance of 2020-21 after having three in 2019-20. He has three points (1-2-3) in three games against Edmonton this season. In 32 games against the Oilers, Spezza has registered 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists)
  • William Nylander scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 18:22 of the first period. Nylander has three points (1-2-3) in three games against the Oilers this season. The Maple Leafs are 4-1-0 when Nylander registers a point this season. He has 11 points (3-8-11) in 11 career games against Edmonton.
  • Wayne Simmonds scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game on the power play at 7:56 of the third period. Simmonds has goals (3) in three consecutive games. He is one of three Maple Leafs (Matthews, Tavares) with multiple power play goals this season.
  • Auston Matthews scored the fourth Toronto goal of the night on the power play at 13:36 of the third period. Matthews has goals (3) in three consecutive games. He has recorded a point in seven of his eight games played this season. In two games against Edmonton this season, he has recorded a pair of goals.
  • Travis Boyd recorded the lone assist on Spezza’s first period goal. Boyd has assists (1-1-2) in two consecutive games. He has three assists in two career games against Edmonton.
  • John Tavares registered the primary assist on Nylander’s first period goal. Tavares has two points (1-1-2) in three games against Edmonton this season. He has three points (1-2-3) in five games on the road this season. He has 20 points (7-13-20) in 19 career games against Edmonton.
  • Mitch Marner registered the primary assist on Simmonds’ third period goal. Marner has assists (5) and points (2-5-7) in four consecutive games. Marner has three points (1-2-3) in three games against the Oilers this season. In four games on the road, he has recorded eight points (2-6-8). He ranks second among NHLers in points this season (5-8-13).
  • Morgan Rielly picked up the secondary assist on Simmonds’ third period goal. Rielly has assists (6) in three consecutive games. The Maple Leafs are 4-0-0 when Rielly records a point this season.
  • TJ Brodie registered the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Brodie has three assists over his last five games played. He has three assists in three games against the Oilers this season.
  • Alex Kerfoot collected the secondary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Kerfoot has two assists in three games against Edmonton this season. His assist tonight is his first power play point of the season.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 26 shots to earn his fifth win of the season.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

TORONTO11 (7)4 (4)12 (6)27 (17)
EDMONTON11 (11)8 (5)10 (5)29 (21)

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

TORONTO25 (17)8 (8)15 (8)48 (33)
EDMONTON18 (17)20 (13)20 (12)58 (42)


Record on the Road4-1-0 (5 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Edmonton  54-44-8-1 (107 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Edmonton on the Road24-25-6-1 (56 Games)


Shot Attempts(Nylander)
Faceoff Wins(Tavares)
Faceoff Win Percentage100% (Marner – 1 won, 0 lost)
Blocked Shots(Four players tied)
Takeaways(Matthews, Muzzin)
TOI24:50 (Holl)
Power Play TOI4:16 (Rielly)
Shorthanded TOI7:50 (Holl)
Shifts27 (Rielly)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage65.4% (Dermott – 17 for, 9 against)


Scoring first4-1-0
Lead after 13-0-0
Lead after 26-0-0
Score multiple power play goals3-1-0
Allow multiple power play goals2-0-0
Outshot by opponent4-1-0


  • The Maple Leafs went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play tonight.
  • Toronto has scored at least one power play goal in eight of the club’s nine games this season.
  • Toronto’s line of Ilya MikheyevWilliam Nylander and John Tavares started 25% of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest mark among Toronto skaters.
  • Travis Dermott was on the ice for a team-high 17 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Dermott finished the game with a team-high 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 65.4.0% (17 for, 21 against).
  • John Tavares was 3-for-4 (75%) in the faceoff circle when matched up with Edmonton centre Leon Draisaitl and 3-for-5 (60%) in the faceoff circle when matched up with Edmonton centre Connor McDavid.


  • Saturday, January 30, 7:00 p.m. at Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
  • Thursday, February 4, 7:00 p.m. vs. Vancouver Canucks (TSN4, FAN 590)
  • Saturday, February 6, 7:00 p.m. vs. Vancouver Canucks (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • Monday, February 8, 7:00 p.m. vs. Vancouver Canucks (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)
  • Wednesday, February 10, 7:30 p.m. at Montreal Canadiens (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

Stats reflect official NHL stats at the time of distribution. Please consult official NHL game sheets (links above) to confirm no statistical changes were made.