TOR 123 LAL 114
Happy New Year Laker fans! Last night marked the first game of the new year for the Lakers as they matched up against the tough 22-10 Toronto Raptors. Coming into this game, one of the keys was to contain both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Yeah, good luck with that. DeRozan came into this game averaging 27 points while Lowry came in averaging 22 points. The Raptors are not known for their three point shooting, but are an excellent team from mid range. After a very devastating loss to the Dallas Mavericks the other day, the Lakers hoped to bounce back against an already good team.
In the first half, it was a hard fought game for the Lakers. The story of the first half was the new Thomas Robinson and Tarik Black pairing for Luke Walton. With Larry Nance Jr out for some time and Walton consistently having to rely on Luol Deng or Julius Randle to play PF with the bench, LA finally saw Tarik Black back on the floor after missing the previous few games with an ankle injury. Minutes later, Walton inserted Thomas Robinson to pair with Black, and then the magic began to happen. In just 8 minutes of play, Black had 6 points and 9 rebounds while Robinson had 8 points and 4 rebounds. The new front court brought a lot of energy, but was still not able to contain the Raptors defensively. Despite having a decent third quarter, the Lakers found themselves struggling to find any way to stop Kyle Lowry in the fourth as he scored 20 of his 41 points in the final frame. However, being down by 17 points with four minutes left in the game, what looked to be another blowout turned into an exciting finish. With the semi-heroics of Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers pulled to within five points. However, the team was still unable to get the necessary stops and the Raptors were able to seal the deal.
Even in this loss, the Lakers showed that same grit they had early in the season when they started 10-10. Seeing a fourth quarter like this, fans (or me, at least) should have some hope that this team can somehow figure it out quickly and turn their season around where they aren’t just a doormat of the league anymore.
D’Angelo Russell – 28 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, ZERO TURNOVERS, 1 steal, 9/18 (50%), 30 minutes
Nick Young – 26 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 8/14 (57.1%), 30 minutes
Julius Randle – 15 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 3/10 (30%), 35 minutes
Tarik Black – 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2/6 (33.3%), 14 minutes
Thomas Robinson – 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 6/9 (66.7%), 17 minutes
Lou Williams – 8 points, 1 assists, 3/11 (27.3%), 17 minutes
Kyle Lowry – 41 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 12/16 (75%), 39 minutes
DeMar DeRozan – 31 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 10/25 (40%), 35 minutes
Jonas Valanciunas – 14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 6/7 (85.7%), 30 minutes
Terrence Ross – 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4/9 (44.4%), 23 minutes
Cory Joseph – 8 points, 1 rebound, 7 assists, 1 block, 4/6 (66.7%), 27 minutes