TORONTO (AP)—Chris Bosh was worried.
He didn’t want Toronto to lose the opener of a five-game homestand that could put some distance between the Raptors and the teams below them in the NBA’s weakest division.
“I got a little bit nervous at first, I’m not going to lie. We knew that this first game was pretty important for us,” Bosh said.
Jose Calderon had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who play three other teams with losing records during the stand.
The Raptors have won six of their last eight and, since getting off to a 2-8 start, have turned their season around by going 17-13 to lift them to the top of the NBA’s weakest division.
“We’re trying to get homecourt in the playoffs so we got to play like it,” Bosh said.
Toronto’s bench outscored Sacramento’s 50-12.
Peterson, who lost his job in the starting lineup earlier this season, went 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point arc. He also had five rebounds.
Peterson said he wanted to make up for Sunday’s game against Dallas when he blew a defensive assignment that cost them the game.
“I wanted to come out with a little extra,” Peterson said. “I felt like I let the team down.”
Mike Bibby scored 21 points and Artest had 18 for the Kings, who have lost seven straight—their longest skid since closing the 1997-98 season with seven consecutive losses.
The Kings play at Boston on Friday before Artest returns to Detroit on Saturday—his first game there since the brawl.
“They played good, they made some big shots,” Artest said. “They have a new team, some nice big men and outside shooters, so you know Toronto has a legitimate playoff team.”
The teams traded leads in the first three quarters before Toronto took control in the fourth—outscoring Sacramento 33-16.
Toronto went 8-for-20 from beyond the 3-point arc, including 3-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
Jorge Garbajosa’s 3-point play, consecutive layups by Calderon and a 3-pointer by Peterson gave Toronto a 89-77 lead with 5:43 left.
Garbajosa’s 3-pointer and Bosh’s two free throws made it 101-85 with a minute left.
The Kings went just 6-for-17 from the field in the fourth.
“They outplayed us in the fourth quarter, and the only way I know how to get through this thing is to continue to work and try to make progress throughout this losing streak we have,” Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said.
The Raptors play eight of the next 10 at the Air Canada Centre, where they’re 11-6. Sacramento center Brad Miller returned after missing two games due to personal reasons. Miller had just two points. … The Kings are just 4-11 on the road.