10 Things to Know: Lakers at Raptors (12/7/15)

Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ trip up north against the Toronto Raptors.

Julius Randle has been getting it done lately, clocking double-doubles in four of his last five games. He continues to lead all sophomores in total double-doubles with eight.

Teams from each road city have been honoring Kobe Bryant for his 20th and final season in the NBA. The list of tributes includes videos, special announcements for the introduction of starters and even an actual black mamba named “Kobe.”

Whatever the Raptors have in mind for Bryant’s last game against them will probably include some reference to Jan. 22, 2006. On this date, Bryant dropped 81 points against Toronto — the second-most of any player in NBA history. The Lakers trailed by as many as 18 points, but Bryant’s 28-of-46 night — including seven 3-pointers and 18 free throws — changed that deficit into a 122-104 victory.

The Lakers have never lost a season series to Toronto, but they are in danger of doing so due to their defeat on Nov. 20. L.A. is 28-10 against the Raptors since they joined the league in 1995.

After winning Sixth Man of the Year in his lone campaign with Toronto last season, Lou Williams will make his first return to Air Canada Centre. Williams averaged a career-high 15.5 points for the Raptors and led the team in 3-pointers with 1.9 per game.


Roy Hibbert also has roots in Toronto, albeit much shorter ones. The Georgetown product was drafted 17th overall by the Raptors in 2008, but traded shortly after for Jermaine O’Neal in a six-player exchange with the Indiana Pacers.

Fittingly for the NBA’s only international team, Toronto’s roster features a lot of foreign flavor. Of their 15 players, six represent a country other than the United States — Canada (two), Brazil (two), Argentina and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Raptors thrive on getting to the rim, as they lead the league in scoring on drives (22.2). However, they don’t spread the ball around as much as most other teams, tying for last in assists (18.1).

Kyle Lowry has been outstanding on both sides of the ball. His league-leading 2.71 steals per game are on pace for the most since Chris Paul seven years ago. The Philadelphia native is also fourth in 3-pointers (3.0) and 11th in scoring (22.0) after dropping a career-high 41 points in his last game against Golden State on Saturday.

DeMar DeRozan has been the NBA’s best at attacking the rim this season. Not only does he lead all players in points off drives (9.0), but he has also done it efficiently on a league-best 55.4 percent clip.