The Los Angeles Lakers were competitive throughout much of the night and Alex Caruso scored a career-high 16 points but the end result was a 111-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors. With the win, the Raptors swept the season series a fourth year in a row.
Compounding a 2-for-9 start from the field for the Lakers was Kyle Kuzma picking up two fouls in less than four minutes, and JaVale McGee being whistled for three fouls in the first quarter.
As the Raptors stretched their lead to double-digits, the Lakers responded with a 6-0 run to keep their deficit manageable. But their progress was offset by allowing the Raptors to close the quarter on a 9-2 run, which was a theme throughout the game.
Caruso finding lanes and attacking the rim led to a team-high 14 points in first half on 5-for-5 shooting. His work to keep the Lakers in the game again was undone as the Raptors rattled off a 14-2 stretch to take a 65-54 lead into halftime.
As Toronto was maintaining their lead through the third quarter, LeBron James keyed a 7-0 run to pull the Lakers right back into it. They then managed to flip the script by being the team to close a quarter strong.
With that, the Lakers trailed by only six points heading into the final 12 minutes. But a dry spell, coupled with the Raptors continuing to connect on 3-pointers put them in a deficit that ultimately proved too steep to overcome.
L.A. did manage to cut the Raptors’ lead to just nine points late in the quarter and got consecutive stops after that but failed to capitalize on offense.
The Raptors finished with 16 made 3-pointers, compared to just seven for the Lakers, and they held a 12-6 advantage on the offensive glass. The Lakers also lost the turnover battle, 21-17.