Lakers pull away in second half, defeat Raptors

Lakers sweep the season series against the Raptors this year.

TORONTO — After what felt like a sluggish first half, the Lakers stepped on the gas in the second half and never let go as they crushed the Toronto Raptors, 128-111.

The Raptors got off to a 12-4 start. Then the Lakers turned it on by the middle and the end of the first period. L.A. ended with eight straight points as they led after the first quarter, 34-25.

The Lakers led by 13 but they still felt a listless. The Raptors seemed to take advantage as they scored seven points in a row before Spencer Dinwiddie made a much-needed three-pointer.

Then, LeBron James and company must have decided it was over. The Lakers went on an 11-0 run and the Raptors were helpless.

L.A. made three after three and the lead swelled to 30. Toronto didn’t have the size and the talent and would end with their 14th loss in a row while the Lakers are now 4-1 in this road trip.

That included a Jaxson Hayes dunk that probably would’ve scored a 50 in the dunk contest.

The Lakers felt like they knew they could win this game at anytime. But that’s what got them into trouble in the first place with teams like the Nets and the Spurs.

They nullified all of that in the second half and pretty much cruised through. Besides, the Lakers do have a game the next night at the Washington Wizards.

The Lakers worried about turnovers early but they ended up only having 14 (6 after halftime) to the Raptors’ 17. The three-pointers really wiped Toronto away, though; L.A. had 18 compared to Toronto’s 10.

D’Angelo Russell caught fire behind the arc with 25 points, including seven three-pointers. LeBron James had a relatively easy night with 23 points and 9 assists while Anthony Davis had yet another double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

RJ Barrett led Toronto with 28 points while Immanuel Quickley added 20.

The Lakers (43-33) are 10 games above .500 for the first time this season. They the No. 9 seed in the postseason, safely in the play-in round of the playoffs by 4 1/2 games over the Houston Rockets and 2 1/2 games behind the No. 6 seed New Orleans Hornets.