Serge Ibaka Has Career Night As Raptors Hammer Lakers Without Kawhi Leonard

Serge Ibaka Has Career Night As Raptors Hammer Lakers Without Kawhi Leonard

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma glided to the basket for a layup to open the game but the Toronto Raptors, sans Kawhi Leonard, waltzed through and around the Los Angeles Lakers in a 121-107 that was largely a rout. The Raptors led by as many as 31 points in the first quarter.

Hot shooting behind the arc by Danny Green and Serge Ibaka helped Toronto jump out to a 20-8 edge before the Lakers truly began to hemorrhage points on the defensive end. They weren’t much better offensively, as it wasn’t until Lonzo Ball’s layup with 5:30 remaining did L.A. crack double digits.

It was to no avail, as Toronto held a whopping 42-17 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Whereas Rajon Rondo and Ivica Zubac helped turn the tide after the Lakers fell behind to the Portland Trail Blazers, they found little success on the second of a back-to-back.

Zubac picked up two fouls in five minutes and was back on the bench. Lakers starters managed to mount a 17-6 run in the second quarter yet they still trailed the Raptors by 20 points. Any momentum that may have generated was halted when the Raptors responded with a 15-4 stretch.

Like to start the game, Ibaka was at the center of Toronto maintaining control of the game. He made all 11 field goals and was up to a game-high 26 points through halftime. Ibaka finished with a career-high 34 points on 15-for-17 shooting and made 14 attempts before his first miss.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from LeBron James and a Brandon Ingram jump shot awoke the crowd in some regard but the Lakers still trailed by 17 late in the third quarter. They attempted to mount another run in the fourth, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from Lonzo Ball.

With their lead trimmed to 14, the Raptors inserted four of their starters back into the game to stop the slide. It did get down to 10 points but the Lakers turned the ball over with an opportunity to further continue cutting into their deficit.