A hot start from the Raptors was undone by an tough second quarter that saw the Lakers outscore them 29-15 and lead the rest of the way.
But the Raptors showed signs of life in the fourth as Linas Kleiza capped a 9-2 run with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 101-95 with 6:28 to play. After a Lamar Odom miss, Kleiza was off the mark from three-point range which would have cut the lead to just three. Andrew Bynum then rebounded his own miss and hit from two feet to push the lead to eight and the Raptors couldn't recover.
In the Nov. 5 loss to the Lakers in LA, the Raptors reserves had a huge night in close loss. Sunday saw the opposite, as the Lakers' bench provided the boost in the final stop on a six-game road swing. Led by Bynum (16 points, seven rebounds), Barnes (12 points, nine rebounds) and Brown (14 points), there was little let down from their first unit and they actually got to line once more than their starters.
"I was very pleased with the bench and how they performed in both the second and third quarters," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson post-game. "They bailed out the starters with a significant amount of minutes."
DeMar DeRozan had another encouraging effort against his hometown team. He scored 15 points and showed little back down against Kobe Bryant back in November and it was more of the same Sunday as he finished with 23 points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals.
The bulk of that scoring came in the third quarter, as Jay Triano elected to call more plays for DeRozan and the results were potent. DeRozan scored 19 of his 23 points in the quarter -- two shy of the franchise record -- by going six-of-seven from the floor and 7-7 from the line.
"We knew that inside was going to be tough for us and we tried to play them early and be physical and keep them off the glass, but second-chance points really killed us with 23 second-chance points. I mean it's not effort or anything else, I thought our guys played really hard and I think for the most part they played really well. I think we could have beaten a lot of teams today, but not these guys."
- Jay Triano, on the Lakers' size advantage
Wed., Dec. 22 vs. Pistons
7:00 PM ET, Sportsnet, FAN590
The Raptors wrap up their four-game homestand with another look at the Detroit Pistons. The Raptors rallied in the fourth-quarter to wipe out a 25-point deficit in a thrilling 120-116 comeback win back on Dec. 11, with Jerryd Bayless pouring in a game-high 31 points. The Raptors have won five straight overall against the Pistons (8-19), who are just 2-12 on the road this season.
|51.9||Shooting % for the Lakers, improving them to 7-0 when they shoot better than 50%|
|13||Season high in steals from the Raptors|
|27||Assists for the Raptors on 41 made field goals|
|23-13||Second-chance points favouring the Lakers|
|56-44||Points in the paint favouring the Lakers|
|"I didn't really pay attention until now. I was just trying to be aggressive and get to the free throw line and create for someone."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on his third-quarter performance
|"Jay (Triano) had a lot of things. Trying to cook up a zone, trying to keep us at bay. We'd get going and he'd throw zone out there and slow us down. They did some things that created conflict for us."|
- Lakers head coach Phil Jackson on the Raptors
|"Guys stepped up and played great. It's tough to fill those shoes of Andrea. He's big for our team and he scores a lot of points."|
- Linas Kleiza, on on stepping up without Andrea Bargnani