After an impressive road victory against the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Toronto to face the Raptors. With Ryan Kelly making his first NBA start and Nick Young returning from his one-game suspension, the Lakers looked to win two straight games. While the Eastern Conference is weak, the Raptors have played extremely well since the Rudy Gay trade and are currently the third seed in the conference.
To start the game, both teams came out with good energy as Pau Gasol established himself early and often once again. While both teams went back and forth midway through the quarter, the Lakers took an early four-point lead. After a timeout by the Raptors, they made seven straight shots and went on a 16-5 run. With the Raptors making five threes, the Lakers found themselves down by seven after the first quarter. Pau Gasol led Los Angeles with 10 points, three rebounds, and one block.
In the second quarter, the Lakers’ bench got off to a slow start as the Raptors established a double-digit lead. With no Laker able to penetrate into the paint, they struggled offensively as the Raptors stayed at home on their shooters. Unfortunately, the Raptors didn’t cool off in the quarter and established a 19-point lead led by Patrick Patterson’s 12 points. However, the Lakers made their own run and cut the deficit down to seven with less than four minutes on Wesley Johnson’s three. With the Lakers making shots, their defensive intensity picked up and found themselves only down by four, 58-54. Gasol led the Lakers with 14 points while Kendall Marshall had seven points and eight assists.
To start the second half, the Lakers missed their first six shots and found themselves down by 14 points. After the timeout, the Lakers committed two straight turnovers and gave up numerous offensive rebounds. However, Gasol re-established himself and help the Lakers cut the deficit down to 10. Like the second quarter, the Lakers began making shots and the defense picked up once again. With a three-pointer by Nick Young, Los Angeles was only down by three late in the third. After a timeout by Toronto, Manny Harris drained a contested three to tie the game at 79 apiece and the Lakers eventually took the lead after free-throws by Young.
The Lakers continued to play with good energy on the defensive end, but couldn’t capitalize on the other end. However, Young had five quick points and the Lakers held on a one-point lead. After a timeout, a quick 4-0 run by Vasquez put the Raptors up by three midway through the quarter. With both teams trading leads, a forced turnover by the Lakers led to another three-pointer by Young and pushed their lead to four. While the Raptors tried to make another run, clutch shots by Kelly and Young pushed the lead to five with less than two minutes remaining. With a defensive stop, Young’s free-throws sealed the game for the Lakers. Young led the Lakers with 29 points while Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Raptors, 112-106.
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