Horrible Start

The Toronto Raptors have gotten off to a horrible start to their five-game road trip, and it may not get any easier as it continues in a venue where they have not won in more than a decade.

The Raptors look to avoid dropping their fourth straight game on the trip and end a nine-game losing streak in Sacramento as they visit the Kings Sunday.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Sacramento –3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 213 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Sacramento –3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Toronto (34-31) finished February with the fourth-best road record in the Eastern Conference at 14-13, but this month has been a disaster away from the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are just 1-5 on the road in March, and have been outscored by an average of 15.8 points in those losses.

Toronto is coming off a 137-105 loss to Denver on Friday, after opening the trip with a 117-108 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and a 117-106 loss to Golden State on Wednesday.

Against the Nuggets, the Raptors allowed a franchise-record 44 points in the first quarter and a club-record 79 first-half points. Toronto, which wraps up its road trip in Utah on Monday, is allowing an average of 123.7 points on 54.9 percent shooting through the first three games of the trek.

"Last two games, we're not guarding anybody,'' Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We're not guarding anybody, and if you're not guarding anybody, you're going to come out of the game.''

This disappointing trip is beginning to look much like a five-game West Coast swing Toronto had last season.

From Nov. 12-20, 2006, the Raptors were swept by the Kings, Warriors, Lakers, Nuggets and Jazz.

Toronto, which lost to Sacramento 107-92 on Nov. 12, 2006, has been outscored by at least 15 points in four of its last five trips to Arco Arena. The Raptors have lost nine straight games in Sacramento since a 103-96 victory on March 13, 1997. The Kings (29-36), meanwhile, have won 11 of their last 15 at home.

Toronto defeated Sacramento 116-91 at the Air Canada Centre on Jan. 16, and has never swept the season series over the Kings in its 13-year history.

Chris Bosh had 31 points on 11-of-12 shooting against Sacramento in January, but the three-time All-Star has missed the last eight games with a sore right knee. The Raptors have won just twice in that stretch.

Toronto's Anthony Parker scored 19 points on Friday, and is averaging 20.0 points in his last nine games - 7.3 better than his season average. Parker had 12 points versus the Kings in January.

Sacramento is coming of a 127-99 loss at Phoenix on Saturday, its eighth defeat in its last 11 games.

The Kings were down just 37-34 after the first quarter, but the Suns blew open the game in the second, outscoring Sacramento 42-14.

"It just seemed like when Mikki (Moore) and I came out of the game, the game got out of hand,'' said Ron Artest, who had a team-high 26 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. "It had a big effect, and they seemed to be playing with a sense of urgency.''

Artest had a season-low four points on 2-of-10 shooting in the loss to Toronto in January - his first game back after missing the previous nine with a right elbow injury.

Kevin Martin finished with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting against the Suns after scoring just six on 2-of-11 shooting in Thursday's 96-85 victory over Portland. Martin had 22 points against the Raptors earlier this season.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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