Game Rap: Raptors 123, Lakers 114
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kyle Lowry capped off a spectacular fourth-quarter performance by hitting two free throws with 23.3 seconds remaining to put the Raptors ahead by nine. After dropping their previous two games, the Raptors collected a 123-114 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to a massive night from the backcourt.
Shortly before game time the team announced that Patrick Patterson would miss the game with a strained left knee. Patterson sustained the injury in Toronto's loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
UP-AND-DOWN FIRST HALF
There was a lot of scoring and not a lot of defending going on in the first half in Los Angeles. Despite shooting 50 percent to the Lakers’ 36 percent shooting, the Raptors led by just a point at the halftime break. Although Los Angeles struggled from the floor, the Lakers had six three-pointers to Toronto’s three, while also outrebounding the Raptors 27-21 in the half. In addition, Toronto was quite sloppy with the ball to start, turning it over nine times in the first half, leading to 13 points for the Lakers. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 18 points in the half to lead the Raptors.
BACKCOURT DOING BIG THINGS
DeRozan continued to roll in the third quarter, scoring 13 of his 31 points as the Raptors stayed ahead of the Lakers to go into the fourth ahead by two. DeRozan finished the game with 31 points, a rebound, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot. The fourth quarter opened with a Terrence Ross three-pointer to kick off a 6-0 Raptors run, but quickly became the Kyle Lowry show. In a flashback to his performance in Utah a little over a week ago, Lowry decided to take matters into his own hands and there wasn’t anyone on the court with the power to stop him. Led by Lowry, the Raptors shot a ridiculous 71 percent in the quarter as they erupted for 38 points to close out the 123-114 victory.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry kicked off 2017 with another all-around spectacular performance. Finishing with a season-high 41 points in 39 minutes, Lowry shot an astounding 12-for-16 from the floor, including 6-for-7 from beyond the arc and 11-for-11 from the free throw line. He added nine rebounds and seven assists. His fourth quarter was nearly perfect with 20 points scored on 5-for-6 field goals, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 7-for-7 from the free throw line to go with four rebounds.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Pascal Siakam played a bigger role on Sunday night with Patrick Patterson missing the game. He played admirably in 31 minutes. Despite scoring just three points, Siakam’s work on the glass was huge for the Raptors. He shot 1-for-4 from the floor, but pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked a game-high four shots as his energy helped ignite the Raptors in the first half. Siakam’s fellow rookie, Jakob Poeltl had his name called in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter, as he logged nearly nine minutes of play. Poeltl played well, giving the Raptors the physicality they needed as he finished with four points and two rebounds. The team was +15 when Poeltl was in the game.
THAT'S A RAP…
"We have to win. At the end of the day, I want to win games. If it's taking the extra shot or making more shots or trying to create more shorts, that's what I want to do. It's just a chance to go out and play basketball."
- Kyle Lowry after a spectacular performance
BY THE #’S
56…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 40 percent shooting for the Lakers.
16…Turnovers for Toronto, leading to 22 points for Los Angeles. The Lakers turned the ball over just eight times, leading to eight points for the Raptors.
43…Rebounds for the Lakers, 40 for the Raptors. Los Angeles also dominated the offensive glass, holding a 16-5 edge there thanks to seven offensive boards from Thomas Robinson.
9…Blocked shots for the Raptors, three for the Lakers.
THEY SAID IT…
“You need it. On nights like tonight when things are a little off-kilter, you need somebody to step up. The same thing that happened in our last game, we needed somebody to step up like he did tonight. I thought he took us down the stretch and really carried us home in a big-time way offensively.”
- Dwane Casey Kyle Lowry’s fourth quarter
“We had to be more aggressive, defensively and offensively. We let them catch a rhythm in that second quarter. We had to fight. We’ve got to jump out on teams and play hard like we did in the second half, from the get go.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the difference in the game in the second half compared to the first
“It was one of those deals, I didn't know for sure, but I knew there was a possibility so I tried to stay ready.”
- Jakob Poeltl on his name being called and staying prepared regardless of playing time
“He could have had more. I think he missed a couple, four or five shots he should have made, but hey, I’m not mad at the percentage.”
- DeMar DeRozan jokingly critiques backcourt mate Kyle Lowry’s 41-point, 12-for-16 field goal performance
"That's what we have to do. Cory [Joseph] pushes the tempo, Terrence [Ross], Lucas [Nogueira], Jakob [ Poeltl], those guys came in and I just have to lock in and do my job. That's my time to go out there and be more aggressive. I think Cory got an easy bucket, Terrence hit a three and then Cory got another bucket. Our defence, our physicality picked up."
- Kyle Lowry on the fourth quarter
Up next: The Raptors will finish out this six-game road trip in San Antonio when they take on the Spurs on Tuesday at 8:30 P.M. ET.