The Lakers (4-13) upset the top team in the Eastern Conference on Sunday night, defeating the Toronto Raptors (13-4). Here are five takeaways from their 129-122 overtime victory on Sunday at Staples Center.
1. Kobe Bryant's reputation has not been built on his playmaking, but the veteran guard became the only player in the NBA with more than 30,000 points and 6,000 assists. He notched his 20th career triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Bryant's best year as a passer was the 2013-14 season with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, averaging 6.3 assists a game -- which would be in the top 15 among all players this season. Currently, Bryant is at 4.6 assists a night.
2. How would the Lakers fare if they were in the Eastern Conference? Thus far this season, they're 3-0 versus the East's Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks and Raptors. Against the West, the Lakers are a miserable 1-13 (a lone win over the Houston Rockets). At 4-13, the Lakers would be in 12th place in the East, just three games behind the eighth place Indiana Pacers (7-10). In the West, the Lakers are 5 1/2 games in back of the eighth-place Phoenix Suns (10-8).
3. Coach Byron Scott was as publicly upset as he’s been to date after the Lakers fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-11) on Friday night. Third quarters have been deadly for the Lakers, and though they stumbled then again on Sunday, they managed to regain the lead on a late three-pointer from Ronnie Price. "At halftime, I told the guys the third quarter has been our Achilles' heel," Scott said. "We were able to kind of gather ourselves and on the defensive end get some stops, and get some open looks on the offensive end."
4. The Lakers got contributions from a number of players throughout the game, including Nick Young, who made five of eight three-point attempts and scored 20 off the bench. Center Robert Sacre scored a timely six points and had two blocked shots. Wayne Ellington added 10 points in about 11 1/2 minutes. Jeremy Lin didn't have his best game as a Laker, but he scored six of the Lakers' 20 points in overtime. The team finished a more-balanced offensive effort, with seven players in double figures.
5. Raptors Coach Dwane Casey expects said he expects the Lakers to have more success this season than they've had to date. "The Lakers are going to be a good team, and, like I said before, they have a lot of talent on that team. They're not a 4-13 team," Casey said. He also credited Bryant, noting, "He played like a hall of famer."