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             === Gay returns to Toronto when Kings face Raptors ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors are well
 rested  and  will get back  to work Friday versus  Rudy Gay and the Sacramento
 Kings in the finale of a three-game homestand at Air Canada Centre.
 
 Since  shipping  Gay to Sacramento in  a seven-player trade in early December,
 the  Raptors have risen to the top of the Atlantic Division and are 26-14. The
 Kings acquired Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray from the Raptors in exchange for
 Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes.
 
 Gay appeared in 33 games for Toronto last season and averaged 19.4 points, 7.4
 rebounds  and  2.2 assists  in 18  games before  the trade.  He was shooting a
 career-low  38.8 percent with  a higher turnover rate than at any point in his
 career, so the Raptors dealt him to the west.
 
 The  Raptors  were last in  action in Sunday's  104-98 triumph over the Golden
 State  Warriors  and All-Star  DeMar DeRozan did  his thing to  the tune of 32
 points on 10-of-16 shooting. DeRozan has scored 30 or more points in a career-
 best three straight games and is averaging 26.6 ppg in the previous 17.
 
 The  last  Toronto player to  score 30-plus points  in four straight games was
 Mike  James,  who turned the  trick from April  5-11, 2006. DeRozan averaged a
 team-best 26.4 points in February.
 
 Kyle  Lowry  had 13  points in  the win  over Golden  State, while Vasquez and
 Patterson  posted  12 points  apiece. Lowry  is averaging  17.2 points and 8.4
 assists over the last five contests, and has handed out six or more assists in
 nine straight games.
 
 Jonas  Valanciunas rounded  out the  double-digit scorers  with 10  points for
 Toronto,  which is percentage points ahead of Chicago for third in the Eastern
 Conference standings.
 
 Toronto  has won seven  of its last nine games and opened the homestand with a
 loss  to Washington,  but bounced back versus the Warriors to improve to 17-12
 at Air Canada Centre.
 
 The Raptors are 12-4 at home since New Year's Day.
 
 Sacramento  kicked off a seven-game trip east with Wednesday's 116-102 victory
 over  the Milwaukee Bucks, as Isaiah Thomas led the way with 25 points and Gay
 followed  with  22. DeMarcus Cousins recorded  21 points, 10 rebounds and five
 assists for the Kings, winners in two straight since a three-game slide.
 
 Cousins  is averaging  21.3 points and 11.6  rebounds in his last 12 games and
 has nine double-doubles over that span.
 
 "It was tough, (Cousins) is a load down there and he's one of the best centers
 in the league. It is a challenge," said Bucks center John Henson.
 
 The  Kings improved to 9-20 on the road and will also visit Brooklyn, Detroit,
 Philadelphia, Chicago and Minnesota on the 12-day trek.
 
 Sacramento  defeated Toronto 109-101 at home on Feb. 5 behind 25 points and 10
 rebounds  from Cousins.  Gay  added 24  points, 10  rebounds  and four  steals
 against  his  former team in  that one, while Toronto  was paced by Lowry's 21
 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
 
 The  Kings have won  four straight and six of the last seven meetings with the
 Raptors,  but have  lost eight of 11 and  10 of the last 15 trips north of the
 border.
 
 03/07 10:14:19 ET

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