If the Toronto Raptors are to extend their season-high winning streak, they'll have
to beat a team they haven't had much success against in their history.

The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors (26-23) will try to win their fifth straight game Friday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers, a team they are 4-17 against all-time. Toronto has lost its last three games against Los Angeles, last winning at home on Feb. 27, 2005.

The Lakers won 107-100 in the first meeting on Nov. 17, when Kobe Bryant totaled 31 points and 11 rebounds. Bryant has averaged 27.1 points in 17 career games against the Raptors, highlighted by his 81-point outburst in 2005-06.

Toronto was in the middle of a season-high six-game losing streak the last time the teams met, but should take a more confident approach into Friday's game.

Chris Bosh scored a career-high 41 points in the Raptors' 113-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, their 13th win in the last 17 games. Toronto's surge has helped it open a 3 1/2-game lead over second-place New Jersey in the Atlantic.

"We've been finding ways to win and we just hope we can continue to find ways," Toronto swingman Morris Peterson said.

Bosh, who averages 23.3 points and 10.6 rebounds and will make his first All-Star start next weekend, was 13-for-25 from the field and 15-for-17 from the foul line. He did not play in the first meeting with the Lakers due to a bruised left knee.

"We expect that from him. He's our best player, he's playing good this season," Toronto's Jose Calderon said. "He did a really good job tonight because sometimes when we struggle on offense or defense, he appears."

Calderon and T.J. Ford each had 10 points and 11 assists for the Raptors, who shot 52.0 percent from the field. The Raptors have shot better than 50 percent in three of their last four games.

The Lakers (30-20) will play their seventh of an eight-game road trip Friday. Los Angeles is 3-3 on the trip after a 93-78 loss to Detroit on Thursday and closes out the stretch Sunday at Cleveland.

Bryant struggled throughout the game, scoring 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting and committing eight of the team's 18 turnovers. It was Bryant's lowest-scoring game on the trip and the eight turnovers were one off his career high.

The Lakers shot 37.8 percent, their worst shooting game of the trip.

"(The Pistons) are great defensively and they get a little leeway because of their reputations," Bryant said. "Great teams earn that leeway. We haven't played anyone else like that this season."

The Lakers won't have center Kwame Brown or forward Luke Walton in the lineup Friday.

Brown, who averages 8.7 points and 6.6 rebounds, has been out since Dec. 31 with a sprained left ankle and is not expected to return until next month. Walton, who averages 11.7 points, has not played since spraining his right ankle on Jan. 26 and is unlikely to play in the final two games of the trip.


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