Raptors rally to defeat Lakers
LOS ANGELES — The Toronto Raptors needed a wake-up call Friday night and they received it when the Los Angeles Lakers surged to a 17-point lead in the second quarter.
They regrouped behind their two best players, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, and pulled away in the closing minutes for a 101-92 victory at Staples Center.
DeRozan and Lowry had combined for one point midway through the second quarter, but DeRozan finished with 24 points and Lowry contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his ninth career triple-double.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey said the slow start may have been the result of the past two games against the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, both single-digit losses.
“We didn’t show up in the first half,” Casey said. “It was what I was afraid of after two emotional games with San Antonio and Golden State. We found a way in the second half, pulled together, and played with some toughness.”
The Lakers (2-3) took an 83-80 lead on a 3-pointer by Josh Hart with 6:56 remaining, but they didn’t score again until 2:50 remained, getting outscored 14-0 in between. Coach Luke Walton showed his frustration by replacing his five starters with 3:42 left and Los Angeles trailing by eight points.
“Our young guys have to realize, this is an opportunity,” Walton said. “This is a privilege to get these types of opportunities. You’ve got to go out there and take those and play extremely hard if you want to win at this level, especially without the mega-super stars on this team.”
Serge Ibaka contributed 18 points and eight rebounds, and Pascal Siakam also scored 18 for the Raptors, who have won six straight against the Lakers.
Julius Randle scored 18 points off the bench and fellow reserve Kyle Kuzma had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers. Brook Lopez paced the Los Angeles starters with 13 points and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball finished with five points on 2-of-7 shooting, seven rebounds and six assists.
The Lakers initially took the lead with an 8-0 run that moved them ahead 16-13 with 5:06 left in the first quarter. Toronto missed seven straight field goals before Fred VanVleet scored on a drive with 0.5 of a second left in the first quarter to cut the deficit to 26-19 entering the second.
The Raptors trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter but trimmed the lead to six with the help of two three-point plays by Norman Powell.
DeRozan and Lowry then came alive and combined for nine points in the final six minutes of the first half. Lowry’s first basket, a 3-pointer with 3:43 left, sparked a 15-4 run that helped the Raptors get back within single digits at the break.
“I thought the Lakers did an excellent job in the first half, coming out and punching us in the mouth,” Casey said.
The Lakers started the second half by missing their first three shots from the field and committing three turnovers in first three minutes, opening the door for Toronto to cut the deficit to one on DeRozan’s three-point play.
The Raptors (3-2) took the lead on DeRozan’s turnaround baseline jumper with 8:05 left in the quarter, the first of nine lead changes in the third. Toronto eventually took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers outshot the Raptors 45.6 percent to 43 percent and outrebounded them 49-40, but it was the 21 turnovers compared with 12 for Toronto that made the difference, Walton said.
“We keep throwing that ball around on fast breaks like we don’t care about scoring those points,” he said. “It’s killing us.”
NOTES: Lakers G Lonzo Ball, who turned 20 on Friday, is 7 of 34 from the field in his past three games. ... Lakers F Larry Nance Jr. went to the locker room early in the third quarter after getting a cut on his mouth. He returned with 7:53 left in the quarter and Los Angeles trailing by one. ... Toronto G DeMar DeRozan played in his 600th game with the Raptors, the most in franchise history. ... Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. ... Toronto G Kyle Lowry needs seven points to pass Morris Peterson (6,498) for fifth place on the Raptors’ career scoring list.