Thursday, August 6, 2020

Lakers’ offense is stifled in loss to Raptors in second game of restart

There have been some video games within the NBA’s bubble which have led to conjecture about whether or not these gyms are simpler for shooters or one thing about this setting aids offenses greater than defenses. Excessive-scoring video games have been the norm within the restart’s first weekend.

That was not the case Saturday night when the Lakers performed the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors stifled the Lakers’ starters for many of the sport, and whereas the Lakers’ fourth-quarter effort tried to show the sport round, Toronto wouldn’t loosen its grip.

The Lakers misplaced to the Raptors 107-92, letting an opportunity to clinch the highest seed within the Western Convention slip from them. The Lakers have gained one seeding sport in Orlando and misplaced one. Saturday’s loss was solely their 15th of the season. The Raptors have gained 11 consecutive video games towards the Lakers, whose final win towards Toronto got here in 2014.

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LeBron James completed with 20 factors, and Anthony Davis scored 14. Kyle Kuzma scored 16 off the bench of the Lakers. The Raptors have been led by level guard Kyle Lowry, who scored 33 factors. OG Anunoby scored 23 factors for the Raptors and made eight of his 9 photographs.

Toronto set a tone early that it enforced all through the sport. The Raptors scored the sport’s first 13 factors and brought about the Lakers to make solely certainly one of their first 9 photographs.

Davis solely scored one level within the first half, always going through double-teams. The Raptors tried to neutralize his dimension with their very own huge males, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. James scored simply seven factors within the first half.

That left a void that the Lakers’ bench crammed, outscoring the Raptors’ bench 31-6. Kuzma led the group with 9 first-half factors. It’s what saved the Lakers aggressive heading into the third quarter. At halftime, they led 44-41.

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Davis scored instantly when the second half opened with a floater within the paint. However that didn’t result in a shift for the Lakers’ starters.

Late within the third quarter, Lowry had outscored the entire Lakers’ starters 23-20. By the top of the quarter, although, the starters had accrued eight extra factors. The Lakers went into the fourth quarter trailing by simply two. They’d trailed by 13 factors within the third quarter.

After back-to-back threes by James had given the Lakers a precarious four-point lead early within the fourth quarter, James glared out towards the place a crowd usually could be. It was a principally empty part, with Lakers common supervisor and vice chairman of basketball operations Rob Pelinka one of many few occupants.

That transient lead didn’t final.

In the end, these seeding video games actually gained’t imply a lot for the Lakers. They solely want yet another win to safe first place within the Western Convention, and their largest query now facilities on who their first-round opponent will probably be.

To Lakers coach Frank Vogel, they’ve a vital perform.

“We’ve received eight video games to ensure that our guys are again used to taking part in huge minutes in common video games and the following guys are built-in on the proper tempo,” Vogel stated earlier than the sport. “We get to get sufficient time to have a look at combos and sure lineups. That’s actually the one objective of those video games is to mess around with these issues and be as sharp as potential going into the playoffs.”

Three observations

1. The Raptors are tenacious rebounders. Their anticipation and energy on the glass have been obvious throughout a gap run and continued to be all through the sport. It supplied an early edge that the Lakers by no means matched in shedding the rebound battle 51-40.

2. Lakers coach Frank Vogel had hoped to search out extra taking part in time for Dion Waiters and JR Smith to assist combine them into the offense. The sport didn’t actually enable for that. Waiters performed 22 minutes, scoring 12 factors, and Smith performed solely eight minutes.

3. The Lakers tried 40 three-pointers however made solely 10. Toronto, in the meantime, made 41% of its threes, connecting on 14 of 34.



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