Brandon Ingram vs. Toronto
Brandon Ingram drives against the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 4, 2018.
(Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Lakers)

Lakers Unable to Recover from Raptors' Blistering Start

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Southern California may have a fraction of Eastern Canada’s snowfall, but the Toronto Raptors brought the avalanche with them to Los Angeles.

The Lakers were overwhelmed from the beginning, trailing by as many as 31 points in a 41-17 first quarter. While the purple and gold were significantly more competitive through the final 36 minutes, it was not enough to avoid a 121-107 defeat.

“They just came out and just hit us right in the mouth,” said LeBron James, who had 18 points and six assists. “It’s very, very hard to make a game out of that when you’re trying to expend so much energy trying to get back into it.”

The Eastern Conference-leading Raptors (9-1) didn’t have the services of top-10 scorer Kawhi Leonard (foot soreness), but Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry were more than enough.

Toronto roared out to a 41-10 lead in the game’s first 10 minutes. Ibaka singlehandedly doubled the Lakers’ output during this blitz, scoring 20 points by feasting on pick-and-pops. Lowry added eight assists during the run, as the Raptors opened 15-of-19 from the field, while the Lakers hit just 4-of-17.

Ibaka has been excellent during Toronto’s start to the season, but he was something else on this career night, scoring a personal-record 34 points with 10 rebounds, as he made each of his first 14 shots and finished 15-of-17.

He continued his psychic-like two-man game with Lowry who furthered his standing as the league’s assists leader on a night when he provided 21 points and 15 dimes.

While the Lakers (4-6) were never able to pull back within single digits, they did outscore the Raptors over each of the final three quarters, by a total of 11 points.

“Second, third and fourth, we played Lakers basketball,” James said. “The first quarter we just came out sluggish and looked like [we were on] a back-to-back, like we got in late. And they put it on us.”

The Lakers arrived at LAX early Sunday morning after defeating Portland the night before, but declined to use scheduling as an excuse.

L.A. did cling to an ounce of hope, as Kyle Kuzma (24 points) and Brandon Ingram (16) led a late 15-2 run that cut Toronto’s lead to 10 with 2:14 left.

But the young guys’ flurry was not enough to pull any closer.

“I was proud of our guys for continuing to fight,” coach Luke Walton said. “Not that it matters [toward the final result], but they competed throughout the whole game.”

Pascal Siakam had a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double for Toronto. … The Lakers debuted this season’s white Association uniforms. … Denzel Washington, Odell Beckham Jr., Canelo Alvarez and Ariel Winter were among the sold-out crowd.

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