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Lakers vs. Raptors: Start time, TV schedule and game preview

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One team will walk away better than .500 on the year. Let’s hope it’s the Lakers!

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers dug in deep to find a win against one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams just a few days ago, and now get a crack at the Toronto Raptors Friday night in STAPLES Center.

The Lakers made a fourth-quarter defensive stand that should serve as proof to the young team that, when they exert their energy and talents to stop the ball from going through the net, they can do some great things as a unit. If there’s any doubt, head coach Luke Walton needs only point to that performance.

The Raptors are all about DeMar DeRozan right now, the only Toronto player averaging over 15 points per game. The re-signed Kyle Lowry is off to a slow start, averaging 12.8 points and 6.4 assists per game. That might be part of the reason Toronto has started the year 2-2, not looking quite like the contending team they’ve been “considered” in recent years.

They’re also on a two-game losing, dropping games to the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors this week, which is worth noting. Toronto is getting a nasty six-game road trip across the Western Conference out of the way early, and so far it’s not been great. They’ll be hungry for a win after tasting defeat in their previous two outings.

Toronto is looking a bit vulnerable, and with a chance for the Lakers to see the light of being on the right side of .500, it’d be for the purple and gold to walk out with another victory.

Enjoy the game!

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet