GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Toronto Raptors 20 38 20 25 103
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 33 22 27 26 108


Lakers hold off Raptors to stay unbeaten

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES(AP) Pau Gasol scored 30 points, Kobe Bryant added 23 points and six assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly remained unbeaten with a 108-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Steve Blake scored 14 points for the Lakers, who improved to 6-0 despite struggling mightily to put away the Raptors, who lost their third straight on a four-game road trip.

Leandro Barbosa scored 15 of his 17 points in the second quarter for the Raptors, who have lost nine straight road games against the Lakers.

But Toronto kept pace down the stretch with the two-time defending champions, outrebounding the Lakers 49-31 while coach Phil Jackson appeared to test various lineup combinations in a pressure situation.

DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points and Andrea Bargnani added 14 for the Raptors, who haven't beaten the Lakers at Staples Center since December 2001.

The Lakers improved to 6-0 for the fifth time in franchise history. Los Angeles went 7-0 twice in the past decade, and its 11-0 start in 1997 was the club's best ever.

But the Raptors frequently seemed to be a couple of baskets away from a stunning upset in the fourth quarter

Los Angeles trailed late in the third before making a 15-3 run led by Gasol and four reserves. Jackson used his bench liberally, sitting Bryant and point guard Derek Fisher for long stretches.

The Lakers never managed to push their lead into double digits in the fourth quarter, and Bargnani's free throw with 30 seconds left made it 104-100. Bryant then hit two free throws and emphatically swatted away Linus Kleiza's dunk attempt with 10 seconds left to seal it.

With starting center Andrew Bynum sidelined until at least Thanksgiving, the Lakers are leaning heavily on Gasol, who played nearly 44 minutes and usually was their primary offensive option. It didn't help that Lamar Odom had the first poor game of his resurgent season, managing just seven points on 2 for 10 shooting.

Los Angeles needed roughly six minutes to get rolling against the Raptors, making a 23-8 run to end the first quarter that included three 3-pointers by Blake, two on assists from Bryant. Kobe also made a highlight-reel, behind-the-head pass to the trailing Gasol for a fast-break dunk.

The Lakers led by 13 points before Toronto finished the first half with a 16-5 run led by Barbosa. The Brazilian scorer, always a problem for Los Angeles during his tenure in Phoenix, capped his 15-point quarter with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, putting the Raptors up 58-55.

NOTES: Two Raptors with Los Angeles ties fared particularly well. DeRozan went to USC, and former Westchester High School star Amir Johnson had 12 points and 15 rebounds. ... Luke Walton made his season debut for the Lakers, getting one steal and missing his only shot. The oft-injured veteran forward has been out with a strained right hamstring. ... Fans near courtside included Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, Nicky Hilton and David Arquette.


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4 Steals for Derek Fisher, including a key swipe late in the fourth quarter that helped seal the game. Fisher added 11 points to the effort. Also the number of three pointers made by Steve Blake, three of which came in the final few minutes of the first quarter to help the Lakers take an early 33-20 lead.

6 Straight games in which both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have scored at least 20 points, the first time two Lakers teammates have done so since 1970 when Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain did so.

12 Turnovers for the Lakers, who have consistently taken care of the ball throughout the first six games. Also the number of field goal attempts, and free throw attempts, for Bryant towards his 23 points.

84 Combined number of minutes played by Gasol (44) and Odom (40), which Jackson would like to avoid if possible, though found necessary in the continued absence of Andrew Bynum.

For more numbers visit Lakers - Raptors Postgame Numbers at Lakers BasketBlog




View More Photos


Points Gasol 30, 12-22 FG
Rebounds Odom 9, 3 OFF 6 DEF
Assists Bryant 6
Steals Fisher 4
Blocks Gasol 2


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the game tonight:
"It was a challenge tonight. I kind of valued the fact that they gave us a game and came out competitive in that second period and took the lead. I thought it was good for our team to have to face a little adversity."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on defensive rebounds being a problem:
"I think it's our commitment to defense. Tonight it was just some of the guys going to the basket that we had to cover and then there's no one the boards because our biggest one's are trying to cover drivers and the rebounds are up for grabs. This pair of guys, [Reggie] Evans and Amir Johnson are terrific rebounders, and that's another thing, but we have to keep that in order."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on his feelings about defensive play:
"That's the key to winning games is to outscore them, but sometimes you don't want them to get one hundred points and we been giving up one hundred points to them almost all the time."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on correctable defensive effort before Andrew Bynum returns:
"Transition defense is always the key. Tonight it was I think the fast break points were quite noticeable. They doubled us in fast break points; I think twenty-four to twelve. A lot of them on run outs, just plain and simple…"

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if the team is better in dealing with the zone compared to last year:
"It's just the focus. It's about making sure penetration happens, it's the key. So easy to get the ball moved around in the perimeter and say "I'm open" that's a three and shoot it, when you haven't really got the initial penetration with the ball that has to happen to create defensive misalignment."




Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on his team's effort tonight:

"We always got to work on stuff. You can't go through a year playing perfect basketball. You still got to work on things. It's just about getting a win and just moving on, and just continuing to get better."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on the rebound differential:
"It's just an unorthodox team. They've got rebounds coming in from all over the place, they've got the floor spread, and very athletic guys that are crashing and jumping. So it was just their style of play."




Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on the amount of minutes he's playing:
"I mean I'm playing a lot of minutes and that's the reality. I don't know if I wished I played any less. It is what it is, I'm playing a lot of minutes and that's all. I'm playing well so I just have to make sure I take care of my body the days that we don't play, and continue to work hard and play well."





Lakers' Steve Blake on getting out rebounded in tonight's game:
"They have Reggie Evans who's one of the best rebounders in the league…he's strong, he has a shot that gets up there. It's not likely that we'll get out rebounded most games, but they have some top rebounders."

Lakers' Steve Blake on Sunday's game against Portland:
"I'm sure we'll watch some film, and go over the plays they're running. The key is we've got to control Brandon the best we can, LaMarcus Aldridge. We've got to use our momentum and take care of home court."




Lakers' Shannon Brown on his and Steve Blake's 26 points tonight:
"Steve had a lot of open shots. The key is just to move, move the ball, take what you're given. We did a great job of really moving the ball and making that extra pass."

Lakers' Shannon Brown on his improved shooting:
"Hard work, confidence, the team is giving me the ball…there's a lot of reasons, taking more shots. I'm catching it and I'm shooting, I'm just letting it go, not thinking about it or worrying about a play that shouldn't be made and just shooting the ball."


Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano on the challenges of defending Kobe Bryant:
"It's a challenge for anybody who tries to guard him. We had Leandro in the game, and even if you don't and you put a bigger guy on him, then you have Artest who can post people up playing against a smaller two guard. He's a tough match-up. It's a challenge for anybody."

Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano on Raptors 21 team turnovers:
"We turned the ball over. They're an aggressive team, slapping at the ball and stuff which caught us by surprise in the first quarter. We just didn't take care of the ball. We probably win in most categories of this game. They shoot too many free throws and we don't shoot enough and that was the difference."

Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano on the 4th quarter turning point:
"We didn't get a couple shots. We got caught, they showed hard and we couldn't move the ball. We became a little stagnant. It was a bad luck thing. There was a four point difference with 7:40 to go [in the game] and the ball is sitting on the rim and we touch it two or three times and it doesn't go and then we foul a three point shooter, so it goes from a two point difference to a seven point difference. That was a big swing for us right there."

Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano on Demar Derozan play against Kobe Bryant:
"He knows he's playing against a very good player and he didn't back down."

Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano on the Raptors team performance:
"I thought our guys played extremely hard from start to finish there was great intensity and our competed. Now we just have to play better. We're a young team and we need to not turn the ball over. We killed them on the boards, shot a decent percentage, but we just turned the ball over."




Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan on the Raptors team effort tonight:
"We did pretty good. It was just down the stretch, they started executing. They started getting a lot of stops and we couldn't get any buckets. We were right there but we just couldn't execute at the end."

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan on having to guard Kobe and score on the offensive end:
"It's fun and it's a challenge. I had fun tonight and it's always fun playing against Kobe and the Lakers. But I wish we could have pulled the win out."




Raptors forward Reggie Evans on the Raptors effort and rebounding tonight:

"We showed a lot of courage tonight playing against the defending champions, but at the end of the day, as champions, you always find ways to get a win and that's what they did tonight. You never want to get too comfortable and say 'we played hard against the champions.' You got to find ways to get wins."

Raptors forward Reggie Evans on how he was able to rebound effectively against the Lakers:
"Just being aggressive and just not being so stationery. Just got to move around and let them feel me, then sometimes just use my quickness to my advantage."




Raptors guard Jarrett Jack on the Raptors rebounding effort tonight:
"Reggie [Evans] and Amir [Johnson] do a great job for us gathering rebounds, Amir especially on the offensive glass. He's a tremendous jumper and our most athletic guy. They do a good job for us keeping balls alive and getting us extra possessions."

Raptors guard Jarrett Jack on the Raptors offensive effort in the second half:
"They're a great defensive team. It's tough to put up a 38-point quarter against anybody, especially them. They played hard and I thought we did as well. We fought tooth and nail with them down the stretch, but in the end they just made more plays than we did."











LAKERS VS. RAPTORS GAME PREVIEW

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer

Five games into the season and Kobe Bryant appears to be back to superstar form after offseason knee surgery.

That likely doesn't bode well for the Toronto Raptors.

Coming off his first triple-double in almost two years, Bryant looks to continue his and the undefeated Los Angeles Lakers' home dominance over the Raptors on Friday night.

There was some concern in Lakers camp that Bryant might need a little time to get going after the surgery. However, those issues likely were put to rest after Bryant recorded 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 112-100 win at Sacramento on Wednesday.

"I just feel better. I feel fine," Bryant said. "I'm 100 percent."

After posting his 17th triple-double and first since Jan. 21, 2009, Bryant is averaging 25.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists while leading the Lakers to a 5-0 start.

"I thought he might start off struggling to find some rhythm and he would build some rhythm as things went," teammate Derek Fisher said. "To see him play this well this early, he's on my team, so that's good for me. But that's not good for everyone else when he's playing this good this early."

The last thing the Raptors (1-3) need to see Bryant at the top of his game.

The two-time reigning NBA finals MVP has averaged 33.6 points and shot 49.8 percent in his last 10 home games versus Toronto. That included an unforgettable 81-point effort in a 122-104 win over the Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.

Looking to open with six straight victories for the second time in three seasons, Los Angeles has averaged 110.3 points during an eight-game home winning streak against Toronto. The Raptors haven't beaten the Lakers on the road since Dec. 28, 2001.

Joining Atlanta and New Orleans as the NBA's only undefeated teams, Los Angeles is averaging a league-high 113.8 points. The Lakers also committed just six turnovers against the Kings.

"It's just picking up where we left off," coach Phil Jackson said. "Kind of generating energy from the championship season, going out with a lot of knowledge of what we want to do."

Off to a strong start, Pau Gasol (23.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg) has averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 boards in his last four games against the Raptors.

While Toronto has struggled against the Lakers with Chris Bosh leading the way, it could face a more difficult challenge now that the star forward is playing for Miami.

Andrea Bargnani has carried the early scoring load, averaging a team-leading 24.0 points. He's totaled 54 points in losses at Sacramento and Utah to open Toronto's four-game western road trip.

Bargnani has averaged 21.3 points in his last three games against the Lakers.

Toronto looks to improve defensively after giving up an average of 103.8 points to the Kings and Jazz. Utah scored 41 first-quarter points and shot 56.5 percent in Wednesday's 125-108 victory.

"We've got to be better off the start," coach Jay Triano told the Raptors' official website.

The Raptors, 15-26 away from home last season, have not dropped their first three road games since 2006-07.


Copyright 2010 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



Lakers Andrew Bynum (right knee surgery) is out.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is probable.
Luke Walton (strained right hamstring) is doubtful.

Mavs Ed Davis (right knee meniscus) is out.


11/05 - TOR @ LAL
12/19 - LAL @ TOR


With Chris Bosh gone the Toronto Raptors will rely on Andrea Bargnani to shoulder the load, especially on the offensive end. Since he came into the league everyone has known about his shooting touch from beyond the three point line. He has been a threat to pick and pop in screen and roll situations since day one. Going into this season the Raptors will need him to continue to improve his low post and mid-range face up game. Toronto runs a few more sets to get him touches in the low post than they have in the past and while he doesn't command an automatic double team down there, he is a threat due to his size. In the face up game, we must stay down on his shot fakes. Because of the respect that teams have for his jumper, Barganani is able to employ effective pump fakes and then put the ball down for a one or two dribble drive either to the rim or to a better shot.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS

The Lakers split last season's series with Toronto 1-1 after sweeping the 2008-09 season series with the Raptors 2-0 for the second consecutive year. The two teams have split six season series while the Lakers have swept the other eight (2-0). This will be the 29th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series 22-6. In the team's 20th meeting back on January 22, 2006, Kobe 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. Two seasons ago 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 8-2 in their last 10 overall games against the Raptors. The Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Raptors at STAPLES Center and are winners of their last eight straight at home. When visiting Toronto, the Lakers are 10-4 all-time against the Raptors and 7-3 in their last 10 visits to Air Canada Centre. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have gone 16-4 when facing Toronto. In 24 career games (20 starts) against Toronto, Kobe Bryant is averaging 28.5 points. Lakers center Pau Gasol and Raptors guard Jose Calderon have both played for Spain internationally as members of both the 2008 Olympic silver medal team and the gold medal winning Spanish 2006 FIBA World Championship team.

ODOM ON THE MARK
Over the first five games of the season, Lamar Odom has shot 35-for-50 (.700) from the field, ranking first in the NBA. The last player to shoot 70% from the field through the first five games a season (min. 50 FGA) was Charles Barkley, who shot 43-for-60 (.716) over the first five games of the 1991-92 season. The only other time a Lakers player has done so was Wilt Chamberlain, who shot 49-of-70 (.700) over the first five games of the 1968-69 season.

UNDEFEATED STARTS
With their victory in Sacramento on November 3rd, the Lakers improved to 5-0 for the 7th time in franchise history dating back to their days in Minneapolis. The Lakers most recently 5-0 start came in 2008-09 when they won seven straight to open the season before suffering their first loss. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have now started the season 5-0 or better four times (2010-11, 2008-09, 2003-04, 2001-02). With the Bulls, Jackson opened the season 5-0 twice, going 5-0 to start the 1995-96 season and 12-0 to open 1996-97.

BRYANT'S FRANCHISE MILESTONES
In first quarter of the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for first on the Lakers all-time minutes played list (regular season). Additionally, Bryant has moved within THREE field goals (9,013 FGM) of Jerry West (9,016 FGM) for 2nd on the franchise's all-time field goals made list (regular season). Abdul-Jabbar ranks 1st in franchise history with 9,935 field goals made. In all, Bryant now ranks 1st or 2nd on the Lakers all-time list in points (1st), games (2nd), minutes (1st), steals (2nd), field goal attempts (2nd), free throws made & attempted (2nd), 3-point field goals made & attempted (1st) and free throw % (2nd).

BIG TWO
With 30 points from Kobe Bryant and 22 from Pau Gasol in the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, the two became the first pair of teammates to both score at least 20 points in each of their team's first five games of a season since Steve Francis and Cuttion Mobley did so for the 2002-03 Rockets (also a five-game streak). Bryant and Gasol are the first pair of Lakers to do so since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West scored 20 or more points each in their first six games of the season in October 1970.

ODOM 10TH FASTEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 11,000 POINTS, 6,000 REBOUNDS AND 3,000 ASSISTS; 29th EVER TO DO SO
With 17 points 11/2 vs. Memphis, Lamar Odom recorded his 11,000th career point, becoming just the 29th player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 10th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (527 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Elgin Baylor (716 games) Alvan Adams (718 games) and Bill Russell (746 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 751 career games.

GASOL IN GOOD COMPANY
Through the first four games of the season, Pau Gasol amassed 97 points and 44 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field. Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, only four other Lakers had at least 90 points and 40 rebounds while shooting over .500 from the floor over the Lakers' first four games of a season. Gasol joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who last did it in 2001.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 124-105 victory over Memphis on November 2, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second straight game, after claiming their first wire-to wire victory of the season in a 107-83 victory over Golden State on October 31st. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

BACK-TO-BACK
This season, the Lakers are 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

GASOL NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK; 7th CAREER HONOR
On November 1, the NBA announced that Pau Gasol had earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played Tuesday, October 26 through Sunday, October 31. The award is the 7th of his career (previous awards came for weeks ending 3/21/10, 2/22/09, 2/8/09, 3/26/06, 3/2/06 and 1/2/05) and 4th as a Laker. One of four Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O'Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and one of nine to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Gasol averaged 25.3 points (.525 FG%), 10.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 week: 10/26 vs. HOU: 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks; 10/29 @ PHX: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks; 10/31 vs. GS: 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks.

GASOL STUFFING THE BOX SCORE
With 21 points, eight rebounds and nine assists October 29 at Phoenix, Pau Gasol became the first Lakers starting center to reach those levels in those three categories in a game since Shaquille O'Neal posted 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists against Philadelphia on February 20, 2000.

JACKSON BECOMES FASTEST COACH TO 1,100 CAREER VICTORIES
With the Lakers victory at Phoenix November 29, Phil Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to the 1,100 career victories, doing so in his 1,560th regular season NBA game. Of the four other coaches who have amassed at least 1,100 career victories, Pat Riley was previously the fastest to do so, needing 1,639 games. Of the remaining three, Jerry Sloan needed 1,823 games, Don Nelson took 1,931 games and Lenny Wilkens earned career win 1,100 in his 1,996th game on the sidelines.

Jackson (1,103-460), already the fastest coach to 1,000 career victories, established the Lakers franchise record for coaching wins in February of 2010 (534th victory 2/3/10 vs. Charlotte). The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.706), Jackson currently ranks 5th all-time in regular season victories, 12th in regular season games coached, 1st in playoff games coached (323), 1st in playoff games won (225) and 1st in playoff win percentage (.697). Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Lenny Wilkens (2nd) and Don Nelson (1st) have more career victories than Jackson. Of the top five, Jackson has coached 900+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, 400+ fewer games than Sloan and 300+ fewer games than Riley.

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game vs. Toronto, Derek Fisher has played in 418 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 617 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 296 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.






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