Lakers Look To Stay Undefeated Hosting Raptors At Staples Center

(Sports Network) - Coming off his first triple-double in almost two years, Kobe Bryant will try to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their second 6-0 start in three seasons tonight versus the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center.

The Lakers opened the 2008-09 campaign with seven consecutive victories and improved to 5-0 on the young season with Wednesday's 112-100 win over the Pacific Division-rival Sacramento Kings from Arco Arena. Bryant, who appears fine after undergoing offseason knee surgery, pumped in 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 17th career triple-double.

It was Bryant's first triple-double since January 21, 2009 against the rival Clippers. He had 18 points, 12 assists and 10 boards in a 108-97 triumph.

"I thought he might start off struggling to find some rhythm and he would build some rhythm as things went," teammate Derek Fisher told NBA.com. "To see him play this well this early, he's on my team, so that's good for me. But that's not good for everyone else when he's playing this good this early."

Bryant also became the team's all-time minutes played leader. He entered the game one minute behind Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and played 37 minutes to surpass the NBA's all-time scoring leader with 37,491 minutes as a Laker.

Pau Gasol added 22 points and 11 boards, while Lamar Odom had 18 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles, which got 17 points from Ron Artest and used a 20-8 run to close out the first half.

The Lakers are opening a three-game homestand tonight and will also welcome Portland and Minnesota to Hollywood. They are one of three undefeated teams left in the NBA, joining Atlanta and New Orleans.

Toronto will continue a four-game road trip out west tonight and fell to 1-3 on the season following Wednesday's 125-108 loss at Utah.

Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Raptors, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the game. Sonny Weems had 23 points, while DeMar DeRozan and Jarrett Jack had 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Toronto, which will also visit the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

The Raptors were in a big hole with a 41-22 deficit after one quarter.

"I don't know what the cause (of the slow start) was, but that was definitely a big thing in the game," Bargnani said. "You can't afford to start like that especially against a team like Utah who plays great together."

Bargnani is averaging a team-leading 24.0 points this season.

Los Angeles and Toronto split a home-and-home series a year ago, with each team holding serve as the host. The Lakers have won 20 of the past 25 meetings between the clubs and is unbeaten in the previous eight matchups in LA.

For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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