Lakers' Win Streak Snapped in Toronto
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.
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.