This game was the epitome of ugly. No Anthony Davis, no LeBron James, no Patrick Beverley, and no Wenyen Gabriel. The Lakers were very shorthanded against Canada’s lone NBA team and the result was as expected, 126-113.
But the game itself was really really bad. Watching it felt like going to the dentist. The Raptors started the game out, 11-0. But for a while, the Lakers kept it close. The Raptors went on a 5-minute drought where they didn’t make any field goals. Unfortunately, the Lakers decided it would be fun to miss shots, too, and they didn’t make any field goals for 6 minutes. But by then, Toronto had snapped out of the funk in a big way. They went on a 16-0 run and ballooned the lead to as many as 26 points before the half.
The funny thing is that the Raptors went on yet another dry spell as they didn’t score for nearly four minutes. But honestly, the Lakers never really threatened; they just didn’t have the firepower with no LeBron and no AD. They got the deficit down to 13 points but that was as close as they got. At one point, Russell Westbrook lost his shoe trying to drive. He lost the ball and the Raptors got the lead back up to 27. Garbage time made the final tally respectable. Toronto led the game the entire night.
The Lakers, even with this shellacking, had a few chances to get it going with those aforementioned Raptor droughts. Unfortunately, they were even shooting worse than the Raptors. Both teams ended up shooting… mediocre. Raptors ended at .443 while the Lakers were at .425. But that three-point shooting betrayed the Lakers once again; 7 for 33 (.212). Raptors weren’t much better at 12 for 43 (.279) but 5 more three-pointers means +15 in that department.
They really missed Davis’s interior presence. Raps outrebounded Los Angeles, 54-46, and they had a double digit advantage for most of the game. Even if Davis was there, I mentioned in that preview that the Raptors just had all this length. Scottie Barnes grabbed 17 boards, which ties a career-high (which he got against… the Lakers last March). Fred VanVleet started out hot and ended with 25 points. Pascal Siakam also had 25 points to go along with 10 boards and 7 assists. O.G. Anunoby scored 23. They had so much more ammunition compared to the visiting team.
The Lakers did what they could with their skeleton crew. Dennis Schröder led the Lakers with 18 points while Russell Westbrook and Thomas Bryant each had 16. Lonnie Walker IV had 12 points on 5 for 16 shooting but what really stood out was that the Lakers were -37 when he was on the floor. Yikes.
After winning the first two games on this long trip, the Lakers have lost their last two. But they can still salvage it by winning the last two. We can put this as a schedule loss as well as not having the bodies to take on the Raptors. Either way, the Lakers are suddenly four games below .500 at 10-14. They’re going to go have a game against the Sixers in Philadelphia on Friday and end their odyssey at Motown on Sunday.
Hopefully, LeBron James and Anthony Davis get back for the next game. Otherwise, this road trip will feel like it’ll go longer than Sunday.