After Lakers' win over Toronto Raptors, there's a bit of rapture

Lakers, savoring win over Toronto Raptors, take to road against NBA Eastern Conference teams

It might be the funniest thing to happen to the Lakers this season, and it took place 15 miles from Staples Center after they beat Toronto there.

One of their toughest TV critics let loose and ran a couple of on-camera victory laps at the TWC SportsNet studios, James Worthy clapping and shouting, "That's what I'm talking about, right there" while laughing maniacally after Sunday's 129-122 victory.

Worthy almost lost his breath, the Hall of Famer sounding more optimistic than realistic after finally taking his seat for the postgame show.

"Where there's one, there's many more, baby. Played like champions tonight!" he said.

It was a sign of the tension felt by Lakers past and present, a single sigh of relief after so many of exasperation.

There was even some entertainment in the locker room delivered by Nick Young after the Lakers (4-13) needed overtime to beat a Raptors team without its leading scorer (DeMar DeRozan).

As Kobe Bryant gave a quiet postgame interview in a tight semicircle around his locker, Young stood in front of his spot a few feet away and yelled again and again that he needed some more shorts from the Lakers' equipment manager. And some athletic tights too, please.

Young then declared himself Robin to Bryant's Batman, the latest analogy uncorked from a mind with an apparently endless number of them.

Young had grabbed the metaphorical microphone from Bryant, who became the first NBA player with 30,000 career points and 6,000 assists. Bryant had 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Toronto, the 20th triple-double of his career and his first since April 2013.

Worthy was beside himself with delight after watching Bryant's game. A share-the-ball believer akin to Phil Jackson, Worthy enjoyed the dozen assists Bryant handed out.

Said Bryant: "They shot the ball with confidence. When they do that, they become very difficult to guard. It enables me to kind of pick the opposition apart."

Up next for the Lakers is a three-game trip through Eastern Conference stops, perhaps easier now than ever.

The Lakers are 1-13 against the West but 3-0 against the East, adding Sunday's victory to previous ones against the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks.

"It's never fun to go on the road, but that's good to have with us," forward Wesley Johnson said. "Being 3-0 against the East, that's cool, but we've got to treat it like we lost going into a tough road trip."

The Lakers have the NBA's fifth-worst record and play Tuesday against the league's second-worst team, the Detroit Pistons (3-14). Then come games Wednesday at Washington against the Wizards (11-5) and Friday at Boston against the Celtics (4-10) to end the trip.

LAKERS TUESDAY

When: 4:30 PST.

Where: The Palace.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 4-13, Pistons 3-14.

Record vs. Pistons (2013-14): 2-0.

Update: The Pistons are off to a surprisingly poor start, losers of eight in a row and unable to blend interesting pieces into anything consistent. Josh Smith continues to underperform, averaging 13.5 points on 37.7% shooting, and center Andre Drummond has regressed slightly after a promising 2013-14, averaging 10.6 points while shooting only 44.8%. The Lakers own a modest four-game winning streak against the Pistons.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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