However, no one expected that game to come against a Toronto Raptors team missing two of its best players.
Despite missing star point guard Kyle Lowry and big man Serge Ibaka, the Raptors managed to gut out a 113-104 win on the road against the Lakers. That was the surprising part.
The unsurprising part is that it was Pascal Siakam leading the way with 24 points (9-of-25 shooting), 11 rebounds, fours assists and three blocks.
On the Lakers’ side, it was a porous transition defense and quiet night from LeBron James that lowered the team’s record to 7-2.
James can at least point to a triple-double as proof of his contribution, but he also registered a season-low 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Anthony Davis was again a focal point on offense with 27 points, but the Lakers were simply worked over by a Raptors bench featuring the likes of Chris Boucher, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Terence Davis.
“They’re the fastest team in the league. We knew that coming in,” Vogel says about the Raptors. Adds they’d been showing great effort in transition defense but says that wasn’t always there for them tonight.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 11, 2019
The Lakers also got a scare in the third quarter when Davis exited after grabbing his shoulder, but head coach Frank Vogel said the superstar was fine after the game.
After a season-opening stumble against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers had reeled off seven straight wins, the most impressive victories coming against the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat. James and Davis have looked as good together as fans could have reasonably hoped, but there’s still clearly plenty of work left to do when you’re losing to a Raptors team in this fashion.
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