Wesley Johnson, Pau Gasol
Wesley Johnson, Pau Gasol
|W. Johnson||SF||T. Ross|
|J. Hill||PF||A. Johnson|
|P. Gasol||C||J. Valanciunas|
|J. Meeks||SG||D. Derozan|
|K. Marshall||PG||K. Lowry|
K. Bryant: Knee Out until early February
S. Nash: Back Out until early January
S. Blake: Elbow Out until late January
X. Henry: Knee Out until early January
J. Farmar: Hamstring Out until early February
T. Hansbrough: Ankle Questionable
Nick Young Scores 29, Lakers Beats Raptors 112-106
By Ian Harrison | January 18, 2014
TORONTO (AP) Nick Young says the Los Angeles Lakers have woken up since airing some grievances at a team meeting last week.
Young returned from suspension to score 29 points, Pau Gasol had 22 and the Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 112-106 on Sunday, just their third win in 15 games.
"Nick's been doing it all year and he just keeps going," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Young was suspended for Friday's victory at Boston after he was ejected for throwing a punch at Phoenix's Goran Dragic in a loss last Wednesday. Rested and refreshed, Young scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers overcame a 19-point first-half deficit. They won back-to-back games for the first time since beating Memphis on Dec. 17 and Minnesota on Dec. 20.
Los Angeles held a team meeting before Friday's game to address Young's ejection, and suggestions that his teammates had not done enough to stand up for him after a hard foul by Suns center Alex Len. Young called the meeting "a turning point" in what's been a dismal season so far.
"We had an altercation that woke us all up and we're out there battling with each other now," Young said. "Now we're just laying it out there."
Ryan Kelly scored 17 in his first career start and Kendall Marshall had 10 points and 11 assists.
Kelly said Friday's meeting underscored a "lack of urgency" in both the team's response to Len's foul on Young, and the Lakers' play in general.
"That was carrying over into the game, a lack of urgency to get back on defense, a lack of urgency to rebound and things like that," Kelly said. "When we saw that on tape, that's the one thing it did for us is to make us realize that on every play, every possession, we have to have that sense of urgency."
The Lakers reached the midway point of the season with a record of 16-25.
"It's really gratifying to win back-to-back games on the road, especially with the way we've been struggling," Gasol said. "I'm just really proud of the guys. They're stepping up, they're bringing the effort, bringing the intensity, bringing the focus and not wanting to give up."
Long-term injuries to Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant have made life rough on the Lakers, but they haven't given up on a playoff push.
"If we keep plugging along, maybe we'll get some luck here and get some guys back," D'Antoni said.
With Bryant sidelined by a sore left knee, Kelly said Young has become the player the Lakers turn to when the shot clock is winding down.
"If we've got seven seconds on the clock, you give Nick the ball and he finds a way to get a shot or get to the line," Kelly said. "Right now, we need that. It was great to have him back on the court."
Young went 10 for 11 at the free throw line Sunday and made five 3-pointers.
D'Antoni said Kelly will start again when the Lakers visit the Bulls on Monday night.
"The guy knows how to play," D'Antoni said. "There's no substitute for smarts and he's got smarts."
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Kyle Lowry had 21 and Patrick Patterson 17 as Toronto's six-game home winning streak came to an end.
"We didn't get our defensive focus into the game all afternoon," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
The Raptors, who won 106-94 at Los Angeles on Dec. 8, failed to record the first season sweep over the Lakers in franchise history.
"It definitely tough," DeRozan said. "We have to understand that no matter how big the lead is, no team is going to lay down."
Amir Johnson had 13, Greivis Vasquez 11 and Terrence Ross 10 for the Raptors, who have never won consecutive home games against the Lakers.
Vasquez made a hook shot, then stole a pass from Jodie Meeks and, after a pair of misses, banked in a jumper to put the Raptors up 94-91 with 6:42 left.
Young's 3-pointer with 3:40 to go gave the Lakers a 100-96 lead, their biggest of the game to that point, causing Toronto to call timeout.
Amir Johnson later fouled Kelly on a 3-point attempt, and the rookie drained all three free throws to give Los Angeles a 105-101 lead with 1:58 remaining. Young's third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter put Los Angeles up 108-103 with 1:21 to go.
The Raptors led 50-31 with 7:33 left in the second quarter. But Wesley Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Lakers cut the gap to 58-54 at halftime.
"We dug ourselves a big hole," D'Antoni said. "The big thing is we're playing hard, the guys are enjoying it, they're bonding together."
NOTES: Toronto was without G John Salmons (back) and F Tyler Hansbrough (left ankle). ... This was the third stop on Los Angeles' season-long seven-game road trip. After Chicago, the Lakers will visit Miami, Orlando and the New York Knicks before returning home Jan. 28 to face Indiana.
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
All-Time Series Notes: The Lakers split the 2012-13 season-series with the Raptors 1-1 after
rallying behind a 41-point/12-assist game from Kobe Bryant to secure a win in the team’s
second meeting of the year … In 2011-12, the Lakers won their lone game against the Raptors
on a Bryant fade-away jumper from the corner with 4.8 seconds remaining ... The two teams
have split seven season series while the Lakers have swept the other 10. .. The Lakers have
never lost a season series with Toronto ... This will be the 35th meeting between the two teams
with the Lakers leading the all-time series 26-8 ... In the two teams’ 20th meeting back on
January 22, 2006, Bryant made NBA history, scoring 81 points including 55 points in the second
half to bring the Lakers back from 18 down to defeat the Raptors 122-104 at STAPLES Center.
Only Wilt Chamberlain in March of 1962 scored more points in a game (100) and points in a half
(59) than Bryant ... In addition, Bryant eclipsed Elgin Baylor’s franchise record 71 points in a
game and his own franchise record for points in a half (42) in what was ultimately the Lakers
largest come-from-behind victory of the season ... The 122 points scored by the Lakers in the
contest were the most ever scored by Los Angeles against Toronto, eclipsing the old mark of
120 points established in the teams’ first ever game back on December 8, 1995 ... Back on
February 1, 2008, the Lakers matched their largest margin of victory against Toronto with a 121-
101 victory at Air Canada Centre ... The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 overall games against the
Raptors ... The Lakers had their 10-game home win streak against the Raptors snapped earlier
this season. Los Angeles is 11-3 all-time against Toronto at STAPLES Center ... When visiting
Toronto, the Lakers are 12-5 all-time against the Raptors and 6-4 in their last 10 visits to Air
Canada Centre ... In 28 career games (24 starts) against Toronto, Bryant is averaging 28.3
points, his second highest total against any one team behind Charlotte (28.7)
Connections: Lakers F Pau Gasol and Raptors G Kyle Lowry played in Memphis together in 2006-07 and part of 2007-08 ... Raptors C/F Amir Johnson played his prep ball locally at
Westchester HS while Toronto G DeMar DeRozen also played his prep ball locally at Compton HS and collegiately at USC ... While with the New York Knicks, Lakers coach Mike
D’Antoni coached Raptors F Landry Fields in 2010-11 and part of 2011-12 as well as Raptors G Steve Novak in part of 2011-12 ... Fields was born in Long Beach and played prep ball
at Los Alamitos High School… Lakers assistant Johnny Davis served as an assistant in Toronto from 2011-13 … Lakers C Robert Sacre and Raptors F Austin Daye were teammates at
Gonzaga University during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.