The Los Angeles Lakers ended a seven-game win streak with a 104-113 home loss to a short-handed Toronto Raptors on Nov. 10.
Canada’s only NBA franchise reminded Staples Center that they were still the reigning 2018=19 champs. Los Angeles got outscored 61-44 in the second half by a Toronto team without All-Star guard Kyle Lowry and forward Serge Ibaka on Sunday.
Both key contributors suffered injuries in Toronto’s last Nov. 8 road win versus the Pelicans. A few nights later, the Raptors mainly beat the Lakers in transition with a 32-8 advantage for the contest.
“Yeah, they were short-handed but they still got guys that are championship DNA players,” Lakers forward LeBron James told the media after the loss. “So we didn’t take that lightly.”
James finished with 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds for his fourth triple-double of the young season. In the frontcourt, Anthony Davis registered 27 points, four blocks and eight rebounds for the Lakers.
“They were the better team tonight, for sure.” The Lakers forward said about his team’s second loss of the season. “We had good opportunities to win the game, but they turned it up in that fourth quarter.
James added the Raptors got a huge boost off the bench. Raptors forward Chris Boucher finished as one of three players in double-digit scoring for Toronto’s bench. The Raptors received 13 points from Terence Davis and 10 points from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson off of the pine too.
“…I couldn’t think of a better place to have it than in L.A. under the lights, against one of the best teams in the league,” Toronto guard Fred Vanvleet said about his bench stepping in the win over the Lakers.
Vanvleet scored 23 points and added 10 assists with seven rebounds. He called it the ‘best show’ he saw from his team all year. The guard specifically credited his bench players for working hard and having their moment.
Raptors forward Pascal Siakam struggled most of the game, shooting 3-of-13 by the half. However, he went 6-12 in the second half including crucial transition points that closed the game in the fourth. Siakam finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
“I think playing hard is the most important thing and that’s what we did,” Siakam said after his team’s win. “Everyone understood their role and played to their strengths.”
The 25-year-old added that this year’s Raptors team, minus last year’s NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard who left in free agency, is giving guys a chance for new roles. Versus the Lakers, forward Norman Powell scored 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Siakam also said the underdog status gives him the boost he needs to continue proving doubters wrong and defend players he needs to defend. He and Lakers star forward Anthony Davis exchanged buckets in the final minutes of the third quarter which tied the game at 78.
Otherwise, L.A. came out hot leading by as much 11 in the second quarter. Starting Lakers guard Avery Bradley scored the team’s first seven points giving them a rare fast start and 7-3 advantage. Bradley finished with only nine points and four assists in 31 minutes.
Kyle Kuzma registered 15 points off the ben on 6-for-13 shooting from the field in his fifth game of the season. The 24-year-old scored back-to-back threes which cut Toronto’s lead from 12 to six at 98-104 with three minutes left in the fourth.
LeBron free throws would get the Lakers as close as four but Kuzma misses combined with consecutive Siakam transition buckets pushed the lead to eight at the 1:18 mark in the fourth. That was as close as the Lakers would get.
“You can’t go 82-0,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said after this loss ended his team’s winning streak. He finished the game with the Los Angeles’ final two baskets.
Kuzma said his team fought hard but he credited Toronto for beating them and showing their championship experience. He cited that the Raptors beat them by double-digits last season without Kawhi so they did not take this team lightly. In fact, this is Toronto’s tenth-consecutive victory over the Lakers franchise.
“I just think they played a better basketball game,” Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “Credit to the Raptors, they were terrific tonight.”
Troy Daniels added 11 points including three 3-pointers in the first half. Dwight Howard added 11 points and four rebounds and Quinn Cook added seven points but the Lakers still could not match Toronto’s sparks from their role players.
Lakers starting forward Danny Green struggled with zero points in 27 minutes. Meanwhile, starting center JaVale McGee chipped in 10 points and four rebounds in only 14 minutes.
The Lakers will chop this loss up to a bad night versus an experienced team as they take on the young Phoenix Suns on Nov. 12. L.A. needs to put it behind them because Phoenix is already surprising a lot of people. The Suns are tied with the Clippers for second in the Pacific Division.
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