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Lakers continue eight-game road trip in Toronto

Lakers continue eight-game road trip in Toronto
The Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry runs up court against the Dallas Mavericks onNov. 3. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

The Lakers (3-17) will play their fifth straight game on the road on Monday, visiting the Toronto Raptors (12-9).

After falling to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the Lakers will have to muster up enough energy to defeat the Raptors while playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Toronto visited Staples Center on Nov. 20, pulling away in the second half for 102-91 victory.

Center Jonas Valanciunas suffered a hand injury against the Lakers, and is expected to be out an additional few weeks.

The Lakers are healthy, although a stomach ailment limited Kobe Bryant on Sunday against the Pistons.

Key matchup

The Lakers struggled with the Toronto backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

Lowry was the real problem, scoring 25 points with five assists, hitting seven of 11 three-point attempts. DeRozan finished with 18, although he shot a relatively low percentage from the field (41.7%) with three turnovers.

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Toronto reserve guard Cory Joseph also had a big night with 11 points and six assists.

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Lakers guards Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell will need to play better defensively, although both were solid offensively in the previous meeting.

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Clarkson scored 13 points with three assists, while Russell added 17 and two, respectively.

The Lakers can score points, but the defense needs to improve significantly.

X-factor

Julius Randle had a big night against the Raptors, reaching a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while hitting six of nine shot attempts.

He was also limited to 30 minutes with foul trouble.

Randle is inconsistent but at times has shown he can be the best player on the floor. The Lakers need him to play big against the Raptors.

He'll likely match up against Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson, both capable of scoring double-digit points.

Outlook

The Raptors are a good basketball team.  The Lakers have not proven to be -- and are not likely to get the win on Monday in Toronto.

Email Eric Pincus at Pincus at Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.comfollow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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