Lakers Sloppy, But Beat Raptors To Stay Undefeated

The Lakers have won nine straight games against Toronto at Staples Center.

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Lakers 108, Raptors 103: Game Recap

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol scored 30 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 23 points and six assists as the Los Angeles Lakers held off Toronto, 108-103, at Staples Center.

Steve Blake supplied 14 points and Shannon Brown chipped in with 12 off the bench for the hosts, who are off to a 6-0 start for the second time in three seasons.

"It's good to play close games like this," said Blake after nailing four of his six three-point shots. "I got some good looks and it was just a matter of catch-and-shoot."

Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points off the bench and Amir Johnson contributed 12 points and a career-best 15 rebounds in reserve for the Raptors, who have lost three in a row after their only victory last Friday against Cleveland.

Toronto pulled to within 97-94 with 4:20 to play before a Gasol putback and a Derek Fisher layup made it 101-94 with 2:43 remaining.

Johnson and Gasol traded a pair of free throws before a Fisher steal led to Bryant getting to the line and making 1-of-2 to make it 104-96 with 69 ticks remaining.

Jose Calderon's driving layup and 1-of-2 at the line by both DeMar DeRozan and Bargnani trimmed the deficit to four with 30.1 seconds to go.

Bryant was fouled 3 1/2 seconds later and knocked down two at the line to extend the lead back to six. Bargnani and Jarrett Jack missed jumpers, and Linas Kleiza had a shot blocked by Bryant in a 14-second span before Gasol sealed the win with two more foul shots with 3.8 seconds left.

"We were right there but we just couldn't execute," a dejected DeRozan said "This was a challenge playing against Kobe and the Lakers and I had fun doing so tonight."

The Lakers shot 14-of-22 to start and raced out to a 33-20 lead after the first quarter before the Raptors knocked down a blistering 15-of-26 from the floor in the second quarter en route to 38 points and a 58-55 lead at the break.

Barbosa connected on 5-of-8, including all three attempts from beyond the arc, in a 15-point second quarter for the visitors. He scored seven points in an 11-5 spurt that turned a three-point deficit into a three-point lead after 24 minutes.

The lead swayed back and forth throughout the third quarter with neither team leading by more than three after the first minute until a Gasol foul shot gave the hosts an 82-78 heading into the final quarter.

The Lakers lead the all-time series, 23-6, and have won 10 of the 12 games at Staples Center...Los Angeles also won its first six games during the 1987-88, 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2008-09 seasons...Gasol hit 12-of-22 from the floor and all six of his foul shots...Bryant was 11-of-12 from the line as the Lakers made 27-of-32 from the charity stripe...Calderon scored 14 points, on 7-of-9 shooting, and added eight assists...DeRozan scored 15 points, while Reggie Evans pulled down 14 rebounds in defeat...Toronto outrebounded the Lakers, 49-31.

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

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Lakers 108, Raptors 103: A Win Is A Win

It wasn't pretty, but the Los Angeles Lakers improved to 6-0 on the season with a sloppy 108-103 win over the Toronto Raptors Friday night at Staples Center.Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 30 points, and added seven boards, leading the Lakers to their fifth 6-0 start in franchise history.

It looked like the Lakers would put this game away early, building a 13-point lead with 10 minutes to play in the second quarter, but the Raptors came roaring back thanks to strong bench play. Leandro Barbosa led the way with 15 first-half points, helping Toronto outscore the Lakers 36-20 in the final 10 minutes of the half. Barbosa hit a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in the first half to give the Raptors a 58-55 lead at halftime.

Gasol and Kobe Bryant each scored 20 points for the sixth straight game, the first time two Lakers have had such a streak to open the season since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West turned the trick in 1970-1971. Bryant hit another milestone tonight, as his six field goals game him 9,019 in his career. Bryant passed Jerry West for second place on the all-time franchise list, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his 9,935 field goals as a Laker.

The Lakers played better defense in the second half, allowing just 39.5% shooting in the final 24 minutes. The Raptors out-rebounded the Lakers 49-31 in the game. Barbosa led the Raptors with 17 points, although he only scored two points after halftime. Steve Blake hit four of six three-point attempts for the Lakers, and has hit 12 of 23 (52.2%) from beyond the arc this season.

All three undefeated teams in the NBA won tonight, as both New Orleans and Atlanta joined the Lakers in the win column. The Lakers next play Sunday night, hosting Portland at Staples Center.

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

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Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol Each Score 20 For Sixth Straight Game

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol added to their season opening scoring streak tonight in their game against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. Both Bryant and Gasol have been the top two scorers in each of the first five games, and tonight is no different. Kobe's seven-foot jumper with 5:18 remianing in the fourth quarter gave him 20 points on the night, meaning both Bryant and Gasol have scored at least 20 points in all six games this season.

Bryant and Gasol came into tonight as the first pair of NBA teammates to each score 20 points in their team's first five games since Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley turned the trick for the 2002-2003 Houston Rockets. They are the first pair of Lakers teammates to score 20 or more points in the team's first six games since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West did so in the 1970-1971 season:

Kobe/Pau 2010-2011
Opp Bryant Gasol
Hou 27 29
at Pho 25 21
GS 20 26
Mem 23 21
at Sac 30 22
Tor 20 24
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

 

Gasol entered tonight's game averaging 23.8 points per game, while Kobe was averaging 25.0 points per contest. Bryant has scored 20 or more points in his last 11 regular season games, and Gasol has scored 20 or more points in 11 of his last 12 regular season games.

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

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Lakers Vs. Raptors: Toronto Takes Halftime Lead With Strong Second Quarter

The Los Angeles Lakers built up a 13-point lead in the second quarter, but thanks to strong bench play by Leandro Barbosa the Toronto Raptors lead at halftime, 58-55 at Staples Center. Barbosa scored 15 points off the bench, harnessing some of his old Phoenix Suns mojo, leading Toronto, who had their bench score 34 of their 58 points.

The Lakers held a 35-22 lead with 10:34 remaining in the second quarter, thanks in part to hot shooting. Steve Blake made all four of his field goal attempts, all three pointers, to score 12 points. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 14 points, but didn't grab a single rebound in the first half. The Lakers, leading the NBA in rebounds per game, were out-rebounded 25-14 in the first 24 minutes.

Kobe Bryant made his first four shots of the game, passing Jerry West for second place on the all-time Lakers franchise leaderboard in field goals made. Bryant now has 9,017 field goals made in his career, one more than West. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time franchise leader with 9,935 field goals made. Bryant missed his final three shots of the half to finish 4-of-7.

There wasn't much defense in the first half, as both teams shot over 50%. The Raptors made 24 of 44 shots (54.5%), including three of five from beyond the arc. The Lakers made 23 of 44 shots (52.3%), including five of 12 beyond the arc.

Luke Walton, who missed the first five games of the season with a strained right hamstring, saw his first game action of the season when he entered in the second quarter. Walton played two minutes and missed his only shot, a three-pointer.

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

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Lakers Vs. Raptors: Probable Starting Lineups & Notes

The Los Angeles Lakers have beaten the Toronto Raptors eight straight times at home, and look to extend that streak to nine tonight at Staples Center. The Lakers are looking for their fifth 6-0 start in franchise history. Here is a look at tonight's probable starting lineups:

Raptors

Lakers

Tonight's game features three of the top five rebounders in the NBA:

Player Team Reb/Gm
Joakim Noah Chi 14.8
Luis Scola Hou 14.5
Reggie Evans    
Tor 13.8
Lamar Odom LAL 11.4
Pau Gasol LAL 11.0
Andrew Bogut
Mil 11.0

Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PDT game is televised on Fox Sports West.

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

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Lakers Vs. Raptors: Lakers Off To A Great Start

The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a great start this season, and look to remain undefeated tonight as they host the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. The Lakers have been impeccable offensively, ranking at or near the top of the league in several categories:

  • Points Scored Per Game: 113.8 (1st)
  • Offensive Rating: 117.0 points per 100 possessions (1st)
  • Three Pointers Made: 52 (1st)
  • Three Point Percentage: 46.8% (1st)
  • Total Rebounds Per Game: 49.4 (1st)
  • Fewest Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (4th)

Throw in a defense in the upper third to upper half of the league, and that's why the Lakers are 5-0. The club is undefeated through five games for the seventh time in franchise history:

Lakers Unbeaten Starts
Year Record
1997-98 11-0
1987-88 8-0
2001-02 7-0
2008-09 7-0
1980-81 5-0
2003-04 5-0
2010-11 5-0

The Lakers have beaten Toronto eight straight times at Staples Center, with their last loss coming December 28, 2001.

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

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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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