It was quick and painless, pretty much the opposite of the Lakers’ season.
They were up two at halftime and down a lot more than that by the time the fourth quarter ended with a 94-83 victory for the Toronto Raptors on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.
The Lakers (19-52) changed the usual script of playing a surprisingly tight game, settling instead for only a solid first half.
They couldn’t generate any offense, getting 18 points from Jeremy Lin and 14 from Jordan Clarkson but single digits from everybody else.
Jonas Valanciunas led five Raptors in double-digit scoring, totaling 19 points in 26 minutes. Reserve guard Lou Williams added 18 points as the Raptors (43-30) won for only the fifth time in their last 13 games.
Veteran big men Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer sat out a third consecutive game, the team, said, so the Lakers’ younger post players could get more court time.
The Lakers have a mostly non-descript game Sunday at Brooklyn before a game Monday at Philadelphia with lottery implications. The 76ers (18-55) have the NBA’s third-worst record; the Lakers are currently fourth-worst.
Raptors 71, Lakers 66 (end of third quarter)
It’s not overly surprising, truly, but the Lakers now trail the Toronto Raptors, 71-66, tonight at Air Canada Centre.
A 10-point lead in the first quarter was chopped down to two at halftime and, well, that was that.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas continues to dominate (19 points in 25 minutes) and the Raptors began hitting from long distance after making only one three-point attempt in the first half.
Jordan Clarkson and Jeremy Lin each have 12 points for the Lakers, though Lin has made only three of 12 shots. No other Lakers player has more than seven points.
Lakers 48, Raptors 46 (halftime)
The Lakers’ lead is shrinking but they continued to lead the Toronto Raptors by two points after the first half Friday at Air Canada Centre.
Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson each have 10 points for the Lakers, who are 1-1 on their five-game trip and had a seven-point lead after the first quarter.
Jonas Valanciunas has 15 points for Toronto, which has slipped to fourth in the Eastern Conference because of a 4-8 skid. All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is not playing for the Raptors because of a sore back.
Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill are sitting out this game again so the Lakers can evaluate their younger big men, the team has said.
Robert Sacre, who grew up in Vancouver, has six points and four rebounds at halftime, helping the Lakers take a 27-17 rebounding edge.
Lakers 24, Raptors 17 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers nearly had a 10-point lead after 12 minutes of play, but Jeremy Lin fouled Lou Williams on a three-point shot and Toronto’s reserve guard made all three free throws to close the gap to seven entering the second quarter.
Lin is leading the Lakers with 10 points, making two three-point shots in the first quarter.
Jonas Valanciunas scored the Raptors’ first six points, taking five of their first six shots, while Amir Johnson also has six points for Toronto.
The Lakers (19-51) visit the Toronto Raptors (42-30) on Friday night.
The Raptors have lost two in a row, struggling without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry (back), who is not expected to play against the Lakers.
Nick Young is out with a knee injury for the Lakers, while Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back/retired) are all done for the season.
For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Toronto Raptors.