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Rookie Ryan Kelly to start for Lakers against Raptors

Professional BasketballSportsBasketballLos Angeles LakersRyan KellyJordan HillMike D'Antoni

TORONTO — Rookie forward Ryan Kelly will start for the Lakers on Sunday, taking the place of Jordan Hill, against the Toronto Raptors.

Kelly scored a career-high 20 points Friday in the Lakers' 107-104 victory over Boston. He made four of six shots from three-point range.

"He's going to give us toughness and smarts and move the ball and hopefully he'll make open shots," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said Saturday. "I just think we're a better team when we can spread the floor. It's better for Wes [Johnson], he has better games when we can spread the floor. It's better for Pau [Gasol] when we can spread the floor. It's better for Kendall [Marshall]. So that's one of the things we'd like to do."

Hill is the team's top offensive rebounder, though.

"We don't rebound anyway. We can't get any worse," D'Antoni said sarcastically. "We've got to have guys a little bit more active. That's what Ryan does. Ryan will clear out space, he'll block out when he needs too. He's a smart basketball player so I think we'll rebound better."

The Lakers (15-25) are tied for 16th in the NBA at 43.1 rebounds a game.

Kelly was their second-round draft pick last year, taken 48th overall. Sunday will mark his first career start.

"Obviously, this is what I wanted," he said. "This is what I worked towards. It's still very early in the season and I have a long way to go. We have a long way to go."

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