LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28 (Ticker) --
With Vince Carter
injured, Alvin Williams
became the go-to guy for the Toronto Raptors.
Williams fell two assists shy of a triple-double and scored four points in the final 14 seconds as the Raptors withstood the loss of Carter and held on for an 89-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Toronto controlled the game throughout but struggled in the fourth quarter without Carter, who suffered a strained shoulder and left in the final moments of the third period. Williams picked up the slack with eight points in the final quarter and was the focus of the offense down the stretch.
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Jerome Williams makes his lone block count in a big way, denying Jelani McCoy in the fourth.
"Alvin was incredible," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Lately, he's been playing great and he's been stepping up. Alvin is a warrior. He's not afraid to step up and take a shot, and that's what I love about him."
3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Kobe Bryant
brought the Lakers within 78-77 with 6:31 to go. But the Raptors scored four of the next five points before Bryant recieved a technical foul for staring down an official.
"It sure did not help us get back in the ballgame," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We gave away a point."
Curry sank the technical foul shot and Williams followed with a pair from the line to make it 85-78 with 1:45 remaining.
nailed a 3-pointer -- the Lakers' first field goal in nearly five minutes -- and Robert Horry
dunked to bring Los Angeles within 85-83 with a minute left.
"I thought we were going to have enough momentum to get back into the ballgame," Jackson said. "We didn't execute very well down the stretch. We had a couple of turnovers and a costly technical foul."
missed a jumper, but Keon Clark
grabbed the rebound and the Raptors put the ball in Williams' hands. He worked the shot clock and drove past Fisher before pulling up at the free-throw line for a jumper that bounced around the rim before falling.
Bryant responded with a 3-pointer, but Williams sank two free throws with five seconds left to secure Toronto's fourth win in five games.
Williams finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Davis added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Clark had 14 points and 16 rebounds as the Raptors snapped a three-game slide against the Lakers.
"The guys wanted to win, so they just stepped up," Wilkens said. "We got great play out of different people. Everybody who stepped on the floor tonight contributed."
Bryant scored 26 points to lead Los Angeles, which fell to 1-2 since Shaquille O'Neal
went on the injured list.
George scored a career-high 17 points and Rick Fox
added 14 and seven rebounds, but Los Angeles' offense continues to struggle without the highly efficient O'Neal inside.
The Lakers shot a season-low 38 percent (33-of-86), eclipsing the previous mark of 40 percent, set in Tuesday's win over Philadelphia.
The Raptors shot only 38 percent (31-of-82) but committed just eight turnovers and made 24-of-29 free throws.
The Lakers had 15 turnovers and were 13-of-23 from the foul line.
Toronto never trailed, scoring 20 of the game's first 30 points to open their first double-digit lead.
The Raptors were clinging to a 32-30 edge in the second quarter before Williams scored six points during a 12-4 burst. They opened the second half with a 12-3 run, highlighted by six points by Carter, to take their largest lead at 56-40.
The Lakers got no closer than eight points until closing the third period with a 5-0 run to pull within 67-62.