Jordan Clarkson handles the ball against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 28, 2018.
(Ty Nowell/

Lakers' Win Streak Snapped in Toronto

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

The Lakers were unable to bring their momentum with them north of the border.

Instead, the purple and gold saw their four-game win streak end in Toronto, as the Raptors defended their home court, 123-111.

“We let missing shots in the first half kind of affect our energy level a little bit,” coach Luke Walton said.

It was an odd game for a Lakers offense that had been singing through its win streak. Three of their most high-volume scorers — Brandon Ingram (4-of-14), Brook Lopez (3-of-10) and Kyle Kuzma (3-of-9) — combined to shoot just 30.3 percent from the field.

Julius Randle (17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) had a nice first half, capturing a double-double before intermission. But he and his teammates went quiet after the break.

The Raptors (33-15) had a parade to the basket in the third quarter. This was an issue all night long, as the Lakers (19-30) were outscored in the paint, 62-44.

The Lakers also uncharacteristically struggled in transition, as they managed only half of Toronto’s 16 fast-break points.

On the other side, Toronto leaned on Fred VanVleet, who poured in a career-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan (19 points, seven assists) and Kyle Lowry (14 points, 11 rebounds) also contributed to the Lakers’ troubles.

It may have been a fruitless afternoon were it not for a couple of highlight slams by Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma.

Early in the second quarter, Caruso dusted his man with a crossover and then hit another cross to get past the help defender. From there, he had a clear path for a two-handed jam.

Kuzma’s turn came in the third quarter, when his defender gambled for a steal, leaving an open runway down the baseline.

Jakob Poeltl — Kuzma’s former college teammate — came rushing to contest his fellow University of Utah alum at the rim, but Kuz put him on a poster with a vicious right-hand hammer.

@kuzmakyle soars for the one-handed slam!

A post shared by Los Angeles Lakers (@lakers) on

Larry Nance Jr. had 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, plus eight rebounds. … Caruso added 11 points and five assists in 18 minutes. … Toronto shot 50.0 percent from the field. … A sold-out crowd of 19,800 filled Air Canada Centre.

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