LOS ANGELES — Coming off their first win on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers fell quite short against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday in a discouraging performance at home 121-107
Things got off to a slow start with the Lakers coming out quite flat that saw them outscored 42-17 in the first quarter. This saw the Raptors take full command of the period that included a 26-2 run that gave them a 30-point lead at one point while Serge Ibaka notched 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the floor in the period.
This snowball into the Lakers giving up a season-worst 71 points in the first half with the Raptors shooting 54.7 percent from the field along with making 21 assists on 29 made field goal attempts. From that point, it was the Los Angeles playing from behind in a major deficit with Toronto maintaining their double-digit lead throughout the final two quarters with them being ahead by at least 10 points all the way through.
It was the big hole in the first quarter that simply became too much for the Lakers to overcome for the rest of the game as Raptors were able to stay comfortably ahead to grab their ninth win in the first 10 games played.
“We definitely got to give them credit. We got to give credit where credit is due,” said LeBron James, who had 18 points and six assists. “They are playing like they are the best team in the Eastern Conference so far. They just came out and hit us right in the mouth. It’s going to be very very hard to try to make a game out of that when you expend so much energy to get back into it.”
Outside a sluggish start to the game in the first quarter, the Lakers outscored the Raptors in each of the next three periods with them playing better on both ends of the floor that saw second-year forward Kyle Kuzma pour in 24 points on 10-fo-16 shooting while Brandon Ingram had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor.
“I don’t know what it was,” Ingram said. “We just know that we can’t have lapses like that where we go into a game we’re not ready to play. We were back at the start of the half but we showed our identity a little bit at the end.”
Los Angeles held the edge in the second half outscoring Toronto 58-50 in the final two quarters while the allowed them to shoot 25 percent from beyond the arc and forced nine turnovers. It was simply the first half was too much to overcome for them. Despite that, James voiced that it’s something that he has learned from throughout his career to stay even keel through the loss in order to bounce back.
“From me and what I experienced in this league, you got to try to stay even keel,” James said. “Just as bad as you can play for a month, you can round out a great month or two. You don’t look too much into it, you always stay even keel.”
Los Angeles takes the floor next on Wednesday night to host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bob Garcia IV
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