Raptors lose to Kings in first game since trade

Kings small forward Rudy Gay (right) attempts to steal the ball from Raptors shooting guard DeMar...

Kings small forward Rudy Gay (right) attempts to steal the ball from Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (left) during the first quarter in Sacramento on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

SACRAMENTO - This routine is clearly getting old for a lot of the Raptors.

We can only assume the fanbase reached that point much, much earlier.

Come out like lambs, finish like lions but pay the price because the hold you’ve dug yourself was just too big.

Last night it was giving up a 67-point first half to the Sacramento Kings that cost the Raptors. Not even another stellar fourth quarter rally could save this one from the loss column as the Kings claimed a 109-101 win and dropped the Raptors to 2-2 on the road trip.

A good 15 minutes after the game John Salmons, a guy who has been traded from the Kings twice in his career and who clearly wanted this one pretty badly, sat in front of his locker clenching and unclenching his fists, staring off into space and looking very much like he wanted to put his fist through the wall.

When he did speak to reporters who came to him wondering how a team could keep putting itself in an early hole like the Raptors have been doing, he spoke haltingly, choosing each word very carefully. It seemed to take every ounce of self control to hold his emotions inside and his temper in check.

Had he let it out, who knows what might have occurred?

“We just didn’t come out a like a team that was hungry and was trying to make a playoff run like we’ve been doing,” Salmons said fighting for control. “We let them do what they wanted to do in the paint. We let them push us around by just playing too cool.”

Clearly more than just Salmons are sick of letting winnable games slip away like the Raptors did Wednesday night.


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