The Los Angeles Lakers had been dealt one other disappointing loss, this time by the short-handed Toronto Raptors. However seeing LeBron James head to the locker room early served as a reminder it may have been a lot worse.
James left with 6:42 to play because the Raptors defeated the Lakers 121-114 on Sunday night time. Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel mentioned it was a precautionary transfer to tug James in his second sport again after lacking 20 due to a sprained proper ankle.
James mentioned he would wait to see how his ankle felt earlier than deciding if he may play towards Denver on Monday, however acknowledged it has but to carry up for a complete sport.
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“The primary half, it feels actually good. Clearly warming up for the sport, the whole lot goes properly,” mentioned James, who had 19 factors, seven rebounds and 6 assists. “Final two video games at halftime, you already know, after the break, it’s sort of gotten somewhat sore on me — somewhat tight.
“And clearly Coach determined to not put me again in in direction of the tip due to that, in order that’s just about it.”
Kyle Lowry had 37 factors and 11 assists, Pascal Siakam had 39 factors and 13 rebounds and Toronto ended a three-game dropping streak regardless of not having Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher or Gary Trent Jr. accessible due to accidents or to relaxation after dropping at Utah on Saturday.
DeAndre’ Bembry had 14 factors off the bench and the Raptors led by as many as 21 handy the defending NBA champion Lakers one other baffling defeat.
The Raptors held off a late cost after Kyle Kuzma hit a Three with 58.Eight seconds to play to chop their result in six earlier than Bembry and Siakam hit free throws to seal it.
Siakim mentioned having the ability to shut out the win after failing to take action in different video games lately represented a constructive step.
“I believe we have got to maintain the ball. Clearly, that’s an important (factor within the fourth quarter),” Siakam mentioned. “Staying strong, persevering with to observe the sport plan on protection, and I believe that’s all we will do. Clearly, we all know what’s taking place and we speak amongst one another after which Coach (Nick Nurse) places an emphasis on it too, so we have got to go on the market and execute it.”
Regardless of seeing his crew lose for the sixth time in seven video games, James was extra involved with ensuring the Lakers are at full energy for the playoffs. Though Anthony Davis and James had been accessible, beginning guard Dennis Schroder didn’t play after being positioned within the league’s well being and security protocols.
“I believe our crew is based on well being,” James mentioned. “That’s the No. 1 factor for our ballclub. We’re a crew that we have to be wholesome and we have to be full, and if it’s not one factor, it’s the opposite. We present up at the moment and our start line guard will not be within the lineup, so it’s like one other blow for us.”
Kuzma had 24 factors for Los Angeles, Davis chipped in with 12 and Andre Drummond had 19 factors and 11 rebounds.
After trailing by as many as 12 factors within the first quarter, the Raptors led 72-59 on the half after blitzing the Lakers for 40 factors within the second. A rampaging Lowry had 13, together with seven factors within the remaining 70 seconds, and Bembry chipped in with 11.
The Lakers acquired again inside 10 factors early within the fourth quarter, however Lowry responded with a private Eight-2 run.
Lowry was Eight for 13 from Three-point vary and 12 for 20 general. Though he was linked to the Lakers on the commerce deadline, Lowry mentioned it didn’t issue into his dominant efficiency.
“There’s no further motivation,” Lowry mentioned. “I didn’t care about something aside from successful this sport.”
In opposition to the size of Davis and Drummond, Siakam needed to depend on his jumper to create offense. He was four for Eight from Three-point vary and simply as efficient together with his floater within the lane.
“I’ve at all times felt like taking that,” Siakam mentioned. “I’m simply attempting to get to the spot that I really feel prefer it’s comfy.”
WORK TO DO
Davis was extra blunt when assessing the Lakers’ current struggles.
“That is the bottom we’ve been shortly, no less than prior to now two years,” he mentioned. “However the one means is up and we actually can’t get any decrease than this, so we have simply acquired to set a course, keep collectively.”
Raptors: Freddie Gillespie had 11 factors and 7 rebounds. … Siakam had 17 factors within the first quarter. … Toronto has used 30 completely different beginning lineups in 65 video games.
Lakers: Whereas Kuzma was Eight for 16 from Three-point vary, the remainder of the Lakers had been 5 for 13. … It’s Schroder’s second stint within the protocols. He missed 4 video games in February after being uncovered to somebody who examined constructive for COVID-19.
Raptors: On the Clippers on Tuesday.
Lakers: Host Denver on Monday.