Lakers never recover after slow start and lose to the Raptors, 113-80

It took almost two minutes of playing time for the Toronto Raptors to score on Friday night, but their first bucket began an avalanche that buried the shorthanded Lakers.

Toronto (13-6) won its fifth consecutive game, a 113-80 defeat of the Lakers (10-11).

The Raptors made 75% of their second-quarter shots, and 60.9% of their first-half shots. Point guard Kyle Lowry made five of his six three-pointers in the first half, and had 18 points by halftime. Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan added 16 points, as did UCLA product Norman Powell, who started in place of the resting DeMarre Carroll.

And while everything seemed to be going well for the Raptors during the game’s final 46 minutes, very little went well for the Lakers. The Lakers shot 34.4% on the way to their lowest scoring output of the season.


“I felt like we weren’t mentally ready to compete against one of the better teams in the NBA tonight,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “… Felt like they took us out of our rhythm and made it tough for us to get shots. When that’s the case it’s even more important for us to cut hard and set harder screens. We weren’t really doing those things tonight, which is frustrating because that’s taking a step back from who we are and who we’ve become so far early in the season.”

Again without their starting backcourt, the Lakers again turned to veteran Jose Calderon, who spent the first nine years of his career in Toronto, and rookie Brandon Ingram to replace starting point guard D’Angelo Russell and starting shooting guard Nick Young.

It was Ingram’s second consecutive start, and he scored a career high 17 points, making eight of his 16 shots.

He broke the Lakers’ game-opening scoring drought with a layup after the Lakers missed their first five shots. 


“It just happens,” Lakers guard Lou Williams said. “If you’re going to play 82 games, you’re not going to play perfect. … For the past few games we haven’t shot the ball well. I think in Chicago … we did enough on the defensive end and got stops, to give us an opportunity to win the game. But it happens and we’ll get out of it.”

Although Ingram started, Walton removed him from the game after five minutes in the game so he could reunite the rookie with the Lakers’ second unit. But even that group, which Raptors coach Dwane Casey called “lethal” before the game, could do little to offset the Raptors’ firepower.

The 33-point loss was the Lakers second most lopsided loss of the season, after their 43-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 23. As they’ve worked through injuries to starters, the Lakers past four losses have come by margins of 33, 17, 24 and 43 points.

Young (strained calf) and Russell (left knee soreness) are traveling with the Lakers, but they’ve missed the entire road trip. Young is expected to be out at least two more weeks, while Russell could return next week.

In the meantime, the Lakers will get an opportunity to move on quickly, facing Memphis on Saturday to finish their trip.

“We got another chance tomorrow night,” Walton said. “Hopefully we don’t make this a habit.”

Twitter: @taniaganguli