Lakers Can't Keep Toronto From Wire-to-Wire Win
Against the fourth-highest scoring team in the league, the Lakers simply didn’t bring enough of their own offense to the fight, as they were held to their fewest points of the season in a 113-80 loss to Toronto.
The Lakers scored 27 points below their season average, but it was the Raptors’ offense that blew Los Angeles away to begin the game.
Toronto (13-6) scored 10 unanswered points early in the first quarter to open up a 15-4 advantage, and the Lakers (10-11) never led in their only trip to Canada this season.
“I just felt like we played soft all game,” said Julius Randle, who had eight points and eight rebounds. “They were just comfortable from the start."
Then the Raptors hit a volcanic level in the second quarter, hitting 18 of their 24 shots for a 69-48 halftime lead. During this frame, Cory Joseph made all five of his attempts for 10 of his 14 points on the night, as Toronto hit its most shots in a quarter since 2009.
Then the Lakers’ offense froze up in the second half, as they scored just 32 points on 15-of-45 shooting.
L.A. actually enjoyed a 19-7 advantage on the offensive glass, but it wasted those extra possessions by hitting just 34.4 percent on the night, including 6-of-26 on 3-pointers.
Off-the-bench scorers Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson combined for 27 points but went just 8-of-29 to reach that total. Meanwhile, veterans Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov each shot 1-of-6 from the field.
In fact, second-overall pick Brandon Ingram was the only one who was able to find his offensive rhythm, scoring a career-best 17 points while also grabbing six rebounds.
“That doesn’t really matter if we don’t win tonight,” Ingram said of his accomplishment.
The 6-foot-9 rookie took advantage against smaller guards and wings, making six of his eight baskets from inside the paint.
“I thought he did a great job of being aggressive tonight and mixing up getting to the rim and taking his jump shots,” head coach Luke Walton said. “He was very solid for us tonight.”
However, the 19-year-old alone wasn’t enough to overcome a red-hot Raptors squad led by 24 points and seven assists from Kyle Lowry, who shot 8-of-12 with six 3-pointers.
He was aided by the league’s third-leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan, and UCLA product Norman Powell, who each pitched in 16 points.
The Lakers will immediately fly back to the United States for a game in Memphis on Saturday to complete their five-day, four-game road trip.
“I felt like we weren’t mentally ready to compete against one of the better teams in the NBA tonight,” Walton said. “I don’t know if that’s just fatigue from the travel and the road trip so far, but even if that is the case it can’t be an excuse in this league.”
Larry Nance Jr. (six points, six rebounds) suffered a right knee contusion in the fourth quarter and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game. … Toronto shot 54.2 percent from the field to win its fifth straight game. … A sold-out crowd of 19,800 gathered at Air Canada Centre.
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