for this game

Raptors start homestand with Kings

Jan 9, 2011 - 4:05 PM (Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors will commence a three-game homestand this afternoon versus the Sacramento Kings at Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors are 7-10 up north this season and will also welcome the Hawks and Pistons to the largest city in Canada. Toronto is coming off a three-game road trip in which it went 1-2 and concluded the trek with a 122-102 loss at Boston on Friday.

DeMar DeRozan, the only Raptor to start all 36 games this season, finished with 20 points, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza each netted 17 and Leandro Barbosa added 15 points and seven assists for Toronto, which was outscored by a 15-1 margin in the final quarter after pulling within 98-86 early on in the period.

"You know, it's tough because veterans like that have been through every type of basketball game since they've been in the league," DeRozan said after Toronto's seventh loss in nine tries. "They know how to get through adversity and we've just got to keep battling with them...but a team like that is definitely tough."

Bargnani is averaging 21.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and is shooting .462 from the field in his last three games. Raptors guard Jerryd Bayless (ankle) missed the game and is questionable for Sunday. Bayless has missed two straight and three of four contests.

The Kings will try to stop a nine-game road losing streak Sunday in the opener of a six-game trek through Toronto, Washington, Boston, New York, Detroit and Atlanta. They are only 2-10 away from California's capital this season.

Sacramento has alternated wins and losses over the last six games and is coming off a 122-102 victory versus Denver in the finale of a three-game homestand from ARCO Arena. Tyreke Evans scored 27 points and dished out 12 assists, but the reigning Rookie of the Year is doubtful for today's game because of an ankle issue.

"It was one of my best games. I came out and was aggressive," Evans said on "I was attacking and definitely had them on their heels."

Rookie DeMarcus Cousins chipped in 20 points and six rebounds, while Beno Udrih added 17 points for the Kings, who shot a season-best 56.4 percent from the floor and posted a season-high point total. Cousins is averaging 21.8 ppg in the last five games after averaging 4.3 ppg in the previous three. He has scored 20 or more points four times in the last five contests.

Evans has totaled 56 points in the last two games after totaling just 18 over the previous two outings.

Sacramento defeated Toronto, 111-108, back on Nov. 1 this season and has won two straight after losing the previous three encounters with the Raptors, winners in the last six matchups as the host in this series.

Toronto ranks fifth in the NBA averaging 12.3 offensive boards, while the Kings are third with 13.2 orpg.