The Los Angeles Lakers put up a fight against the most efficient offense in the NBA, but the Toronto Raptors were too
clever much to overcome in a 123-114 loss. Opening 2017 with an L wasn’t an ideal outcome for the Lakers, but they did put up a fight that felt reminiscent of the team that stole fans’ hearts through the first 20 games.
Kyle Lowry brought in some leftover fireworks as he lit up the Lakers for 41 points on 12 of 16 shooting. He made six of his seven three-point attempts and all 11 of his free-throws. DeMar DeRozan was comfortable back home in Los Angeles, dropping 31 points in the former stomping grounds of his idol Kobe Bryant. 72 points from two players is typically enough for any team to coast to a victory.
The Lakers didn’t let them cruise through Downtown LA, though. They rolled into halftime down one, stayed on their heels by keeping the deficit to only two points by the end of the third, but couldn’t come up with enough stops down the stretch to leave the Raptors fossilized. D’Angelo Russell (28 points, [14 in the fourth quarter], 5 assists, 0 turnovers) and Nick Young (26 points, 7-of-9 three-point shooting) hit big shots throughout the game, Julius Randle’s defensive effort brought life back to the team and the Lakers were a dog with some fight in it.
Credit should go to Thomas Robinson and Tarik Black as well, who had a magnificent stretch of playing together in the first half. The Jayhawk squad was all over the boards, making hustle play after hustle play while Toronto looked stunned at the relentless attack. Whether that kind of effort is repeatable from Black Rob is anybody’s guess, but it had everyone like WHOA Sunday night.
A solid overall effort from the team, but as it seems to always go for these Lakers, it ended in a loss. They’ll get a day off before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. Enjoy this Brandon Ingram banger until then: