The Los Angeles Lakers looked to get things on the right track for 2017 as they returned home on New Years Day to host the Toronto Raptors. The team’s last win came on Christmas Day against the L.A. Clippers.
Both teams met on December 2nd and the Lakers (12-24) lost by 33, which was part of a rough month. They lost 14 of 16 games and their youth and inexperience continue to show.
Here’s a quarter recap from tonight’s game.
Both teams traded baskets in the first three minutes of the quarter as the Raptors led 9-6. DeMar DeRozan, who recently became the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer, started off 3-for-3 from the field to put the Raptors up five.
Two Timofey Mozgov free throws and a D’Angelo Russell triple brought the Lakers within two. On the ensuing play, Russell found Nick Young on the wing for a triple to give the Lakers the one-point advantage, forcing Dwayne Casey to call a timeout.
Kyle Lowry nailed a three in transition as the Raptors regained the lead once again. The Lakers turned it over and Terrance Ross knocked a mid-range jumper as Luke Walton called a timeout of his own to settle his team down.
After the timeout, potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams entered the game and got his first two points of the game within seconds of being on the floor. Thomas Robinson had two consecutive buckets to give the Lakers up 33-27 after one.
Robinson extended the Lakers’ lead after tipping in a Tarik Black miss. Brandon Ingram got his first two points of the game off an aggressive drive to the hoop. After missing two threes, Williams finally got one to fall to give the Lakers its first double-digit lead, 42-30.
The Raptors tried to eliminate the deficit and cut it to five after a Lowry layup. He then was fouled on a layup and completed the three-point play to ignite a 10-0 run and cut the Lakers’ lead to two.
Young hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to five. After a sequence that saw multiple turnovers, the Lakers regained possession as Mozgov had an easy layup.
A DeRozan bucket under a minute tied the game at 55. Mozgov was called for a Flagrant 1 after “bumping” DeRozan driving to the layup. He sank both free throws to give the Raptors a 58-57 lead at the half.
DeRozan and Lowry had 18 apiece for the Raptors. Young was the Lakers’ leading scorer with 12.
The Lakers and Raptors came into the half trading buckets. Young continued the quarter with the hot hand, hitting another three. He scored his 20th point at the 7:45 mark.
A Russell 3-pointer pushed the Lakers’ lead to six, 72-66. Lowry answered with a 3-pointer of his own from the corner to cut the deficit to three.
Brandon Ingram woke up the STAPLES Center crowd (and Twitter) after a vicious dunk in the lane. An up-and-under by DeRozan put the Raptors up three.
Tarik Black was fouled and completed the old-fashioned three-point play. The Lakers trailed by two heading into the fourth.
Terrance Ross started the quarter with a three and Cory Joseph hit a mid-range jumper and layup as the Raptors went on a 7-0 run. Two Lowry free throws put Toronto up 11.
Robinson was active on the boards and grabbed his eighth and dished out to an open Lou Williams for a three.
The Lakers’ lack of focus continued to show as the Raptors got easy buckets. Robinson fouled Lowry at the 3-point line as he converted the four-point play to give Toronto a 17-point lead.
Russell hit back-to-back threes as he tried to bring the Lakers’ deficit within single digits. A Julius Randle steal and bucket followed by a Russell jumper in the paint that ignited a 9-0 run and saw the Raptors’ double-digit lead turn into nine. Russell hit a three and brought the team within six.
The last two minutes were crucial for the Lakers. Terrance Ross hit a three to give the Raptors another double-digit lead. The Lakers tried to fight back but too many mental mistakes down the stretch hurt the team.
DeRozan and Lowry combined for 72 points for the Raptors; Russell and Young combined for 54 points for the Lakers.
Final: Toronto Raptors 123, Los Angeles Lakers 114