Raps wallow in the West

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

SACRAMENTO -- The Raptors still are looking for that elusive fourth-quarter stop.

A fourth-quarter run wouldn't be a bad thing either.

But the Raps found neither last night as this West Coast trip took another turn for the worse as Toronto fell to 0-4 with the Utah Jazz lying in wait tonight.

Even the good went for naught as for the first time in six games the Raps finally managed to keep an opponent from sinking better than half their attempts form the field.

The Sacramento Kings, a team playing for nothing but pride now with the playoffs no longer in their future, handed the Raptors a 106-100 defeat.

The Raptors' hold on fifth place in the Eastern Conference is now down to half a game on the Washington Wizards with Philadelphia 11/2 back in seventh.

The Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and L.A. Lakers can all score as well as just about any team in the league, but the Kings are not among the elite.

The Raps now are 1-11 in this arena.

This was a game in which the Raptors were expected to have their first real advantage of this road trip as they were in Sacramento waiting for the Kings, who were in Phoenix Saturday night having their lunch handed to them by the Suns.

But better rested or not, it didn't show on the court as the Kings began the game as the more aggressive team and were rewarded with an early lead as Beno Udrich and Mikki Moore led a group of Kings starters more determined than the Raptors.

The Kings owned the first 20 minutes of the game thanks in large part to better than 60% shooting from the field.

That number eventually came down to 48.2% but the damage had been done.

"Every time you spot a team a 16-point or 14-point lead it's always hard," Jason Kapono said.

The Raptors wouldn't have even been in this one were it not for Kapono.

Kapono caught fire in the second quarter, striking for 14 points, ten of them in the midst of a 16-2 Raptors' run that erased all but a point of a 15-point Sacramento lead.

Unfortunately, the Kapono run didn't extend into the fourth quarter when the Raptors needed him most, although he did finish with a team-high 26 points.

"We just collectively have to play better. We had two or three guys play good against Golden State and we had two or three (last night), but we have to get five, six, seven guys playing well at the same time," coach Sam Mitchell said.


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