TORONTO, ON—The Los Angeles Lakers could not take their winning streak international, as the Toronto Raptors handily beat the Lakers, 123-111, on Sunday evening in Canada to snap the purple and gold's four-game winning streak.
"We just didn't play well enough to win against a team like this on the road," Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the game. "We didn't make shots. You to go really go after it and get it, and for whatever reason, we didn't play with that same edge--it felt like--tonight, and they made ups pay for it."
Los Angeles native DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 19 points and seven assists in the victory, while Julius Randle was the Lakers' top performer with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss.
Randle got off to a fast start to help keep the game competitive for the first quarter. In aggregate, the Lakers shot a dismal 30 percent from the field in the first 12 minutes, with Brandon Ingram highlighting the woeful shooting start. Ingram made his first shot and proceeded to miss his next six attempts before going to the bench. Thanks largely to a six-point, five-rebound, three-assist, 10-minute shift by Randle to start the game, the Lakers only trailed by seven points at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Raptors found their stride and extended their lead to 15 points. Larry Nance Jr. made four of his five shots in the first half to help keep the Raptors within view, even if Toronto wasn't in touching distance.
Also, Randle came back in for his second shift and continued his strong play. In addition, Randle and Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas had to be separated after Valanciunas pushed the Lakers' big man in the back after Randle had seemingly inadvertently caught the Raptors' center in the nose with an elbow on the previous play.
After a lenghty video review, both players received technical fouls, while Valanciunas also got dinged with a loose ball foul. Randle appeared to use the incident to further ignite his strong start and grabbed his 12th double-double of the season before halftime with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in only 16 first-half minutes.
Randle, who has been on a tear of late, recorded his third double-double in the past four games and seventh double-double since the start of the New Year.
In the third quarter, the Lakers initially hit a trio of three-pointers and cut the difference to only five points roughly three minutes into the second half. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Raptors didn't seem interested in letting LA get any closer. In the blink of an eye, the Lakers were back down by 15 points, which was the Raptors' largest lead of the night to that point.
By the end of the third quarter, Toronto led by 14 points with the Air Canada Centre comfortably settled in to see an 18th home victory in 22 games during the 2017-18 season.
In the fourth quarter, the wheels would come off for the Lakers as the Raptors shut the door on any thought of a comeback and then proceeded to double bolt the door and add a security system. At the mid-point of the fourth quarter, the Raptors had ballooned their advantage to 22 points.
The Lakers would cut the difference to 12 points after the Raptors pulled their starters, but the comeback never seemed likely enough for the Raptors to put any of their starting five back in before the final buzzer.
Eventually, the Raptors won by a final count of 123-111.
Randle said plainly after the game, "They are a better team and have a great home record, obviously. We gave up 123 points, and we didn't shoot well."
Notes: Brook Lopez got his first technical foul of the season arguing a call in the third quarter of the game. The Lakers missed 10 of their 33 free throws on the night to continue their season-worst foul shooting. Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points off the bench to tie Randle as the team's leading scorer. Nigel Hayes, who was on the final day of his 10-day contract played for 10 minutes. Fred VanVleet scored a game-high 25 points off the Raptors' bench in only 20 minutes of game time.