Lakers vs. Raptors: In-game report
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Raptors 106, Lakers 105 (final)
Three games into an eight-game, 13-city trip and the Lakers are reeling, somewhat, failing to win two games because they couldn’t get the job done in the clutch.
This time, the Lakers couldn’t play well enough on defense and then Kobe Bryant was unable to bail them out, missing a desperation three-point shot as time expired.
The Lakers are now 1-2 on a trip that still has stops in Boston and Memphis, which is playing good basketball.
Pau Gasol was called for fouling Hedo Turkoglu on a drive with 1.2 seconds left and the Lakers clinging to a one-point lead.
Turkoglu made both free throws for a 106-105 Raptors lead.
The Lakers called a timeout and set up a play for Bryant. Bryant missed a turnaround three-pointer as time expired, the ball rolling in and out.
The Lakers walked off the court looking sad.
Bryant was one assist short of a triple-double with 27 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and nine assists.
The Lakers were in a game all through the fourth quarter.
They got a little breathing room because they made good plays.
After Bryant missed a shot, he stole the ball and fed Andrew Bynum for a layup for a 101-100 Lakers lead.
Shannon Brown blocked a shot by Jose Calderon, which led to a driving layup by Jordan Farmar, who finished with 17 points, for a 103-100 Lakers lead.
Still, it was 105-104 after the Lakers made a good defensive stop.
But with three seconds left on the 24-second clock and with 15.3 seconds left in regulation and the Lakers holding onto that one-point lead, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson called a timeout.
Bryant missed a three-pointer from the corner in front of the Raptors’ bench with 12.9 seconds left.
Raptors forward Chris Bosh collected the rebound and Toronto called a timeout with 11.4 seconds left to set up one last play.
The Raptors came through, the Lakers did not, when Turkoglu drove from the top right of the key, across the left side of the lane through traffic to draw the foul that set up the game-winning free throws.
Lakers 84, Raptors 82 (third quarter)
The Lakers came strong in the third quarter, going on a 9-0 run at the start of the quarter, which allowed them to open 10-point lead.
But that didn’t last because the Lakers stopped playing defense. It seemed as if the only thing the Lakers were concerned about was scoring, focusing on their offense.
That played right into the hands of the Raptors, who are known for being an offensive team.
The Lakers had a tough time stopping guard Jarrett Jack, who had 15 points on seven-for-10 shooting and four assists through three quarters.
The Lakers had four players in double figures through three quarters, led by Kobe Bryant’s 21 points and Andrew Bynum’s 19, but their defense was lacking and that’s why they were in a two-point game heading into the fourth.
Lakers 56, Raptors 54 (halftime)
Andrew Bynum didn’t seemed bothered this evening by his issues that cost him some money.
Instead, Bynum went to work down low for the Lakers, getting position and punishing the Raptors.
Bynum, who missed the team’s flight this morning to Toronto when he overslept, had 13 points in the second quarter, shooting five for 10. He finished the first half with 17 points and five rebounds.
Still, the Lakers led by just two points at the half because they played such poor defense.
And they got the lead only because Kobe Bryant, who had 14 points in the first half, made a jumper just before the halftime buzzer sounded.
Bynum was forced to pay $300 for his own flight to Toronto and he was fined an undisclosed amount.
Bynum had one play in which he did a drop step and scored while being fouled. He made the free throw to complete the three-point play.
Later in the second, Bryant threw a lob pass that Bynum dunked while being fouled. He made the free throw for another three-point play in the second quarter.
Lakers 24, Raptors 21 (first quarter) It was a cold shooting first quarter by both the Lakers and Toronto Raptors this evening at the Air Canada Centre.
Both teams shot brick after brick to start the game.
But because the Lakers made 42.9% of their shots in the first quarter, they opened a three-point lead over the Raptors, who made 42.1% of their shots.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 10 points on five-for-nine shooting in the first.
Before the Lakers prepared to play the Toronto Raptors tonight, Coach Phil Jackson was asked whether it was a different challenge to play a game in Canada versus playing games in the United States.
Jackson, being Jackson, gave his unique answer.
‘It’s the same game,’ Jackson started. ‘It’s a little different fan crew. I like their fans.They’ve learned how to holler at the right time.’
The Lakers’ defense was going to be challenged by the Raptors.
The Raptors average 103.6 points per game, fifth-best in the NBA, one spot ahead of the Lakers.
Toronto has a center, Andrea Bargnani, who makes his living on the outside, even shooting three-pointers. Bargnani missed the last game with a sore back, but was back in the starting lineup.
-- Broderick Turner