After an ugly win on the road Wednesday in Chicago, the Los Angeles Lakers (10-10) traveled north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors (12-6) in hopes of another victory on this road trip and snapping the Raptors’ four-game win streak.
Although the Lakers continue to play without D’Angelo Russell (knee) and Nick Young (calf), other reserves on the team have been given an opportunity for more minutes. The team continues to get excellent contributions from key bench guys like Lou Williams, Larry Nance Jr and Jordan Clarkson. Rookie Brandon Ingram has gotten more minutes and has been inserted into the starting lineup as he continues to get acclimated to the NBA game.
The Lakers are currently 4-3 against the East and the bench leads the NBA in scoring (52.6 ppg). They’re also 3-0 in games decided by six or less.
Here’s a quarter recap from tonight’s game.
The Lakers missed five shots before Ingram got his first two points of the game. Calderon scored on a mid-range jumper on the next possession, but the Raptors quickly went up 12-4 before the 8-minute media timeout.
The Lakers continued to struggle offensively and scored seven points in seven minutes as a Kyle Lowry 3-pointer gave the Raptors its first double-digit lead. A Williams triple and Randle layup would make the game 18-12 as the team continued to find themselves playing from behind multiple times this season.
Tarik Black entered the game and grabbed an offensive board and was fouled on a put-back, completing the three-point play to cut the deficit to five. Ingram got his first triple of the game from the corner as the Lakers trailed Toronto 28-22 after one.
The Lakers forced a turnover to start the quarter and Ingram drove to the basket for a layup, scoring his 7th point of the game. After going 0-for-3 from then 3-point line, Clarkson hit his first three of the game. Two threes from Terrance Ross and a Corey Joseph layup gave the Raptors their second double-digit lead of the game, forcing Luke Walton to call a timeout.
After the timeout, Clarkson fed a cutting Ingram for a dunk, but Lowry and Joseph continued to extend the Raptors’ lead, 51-39. Lowry continued to dominate in the first half and hit a corner 3-pointer, in which Luke Walton immediately called another timeout. At the three-minute mark, the Raptors were 13-of-15 from the field.
With Lowry out of the game, DeRozan started to fill the void, hitting a mid-range jumper. After a three, DeRozan got a steal and layup to extend the lead to 19. As the quarter was winding down, Randle was called for a traveling violation, which was the Lakers’ seventh turnover of the game. Corey Joseph hit a mid-range jumper before the half to put the Raptors up 21, 69-48, at the half.
The Raptors were 18-for-24 from in the field in the 2nd quarter and outscored the Lakers, 41-26. The Lakers shot 17-for-48 from the field and committed seven turnovers. Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams were the Lakers’ leading scorers with 11 apiece.
Ingram started the half with a layup, but the Lakers couldn’t manage to get stops on the defensive end. DeRozan hit another mid-range jumper. On the next possession, Lowry hit his sixth three of the game to push the lead back to 20.
A Calderon turnover led to an emphatic breakaway dunk by Norman Powell as Walton called another timeout. After missing his first six attempts from the field, Mozgov hit a 17-footer to earn his first two points of the game (yes, you read that correctly).
The Lakers were able to get baskets but couldn’t seem to get stops. Toronto kept their lead over 18 points. DeRozan got an 18-footer to go in before the horn sounded as the Raptors led 84-62 going into the half.
Clarkson scored to start the final quarter and Ingram got a layup of his own to try to start some kind of offensive run to cut the team’s deficit to single digits. It was obvious that the Lakers just couldn’t get over that hump. The Raptors’ Patrick Patterson hit a corner three. On the ensuing play, Lucas Nogueira was fouled on a layup and completed the three-point play to put Toronto up 92-67.
After scoring a layup, Lowry checked out at the 7:22 mark with 24 points. Marcelo Huertas saw his first minutes of the game and dished a sweet dime to Larry Nance Jr for the slam, but dunks are only worth two points and the Lakers were down 101-75.
The final four minutes were a learning experience for the new generation Lakers. The Huertas-Ingram-Nance Jr-World Peace-Robinson lineup on the floor were down almost 30 but continued to play despite being down that much late in the game. The given minutes were a blessing in disguise as guys like Huertas and Robinson continue to work towards consistent roles in Walton’s system.
Nance Jr came out the game limping after colliding with Fred VanVleet.
Kyle Lowry had six of the Raptors’ 12 3-pointers and led all scorers with 24 points. Three Lakers finished in double figures: Brandon Ingram (17), Jordan Clarkson (14) and Lou Williams (13). Los Angeles shot 34.8% (32-of-93) from the field and 24% (6-of-26) from the 3-point line. The team also committed 16 turnovers.
Final: Toronto Raptors 113, Los Angeles Lakers 80