Los Angeles

Toronto Raptors Rout Lakers, 121-107, After Worst 1st Quarter in Franchise History

The Lakers came out flat on the second night of a back-to-back and the Raptors took advantage, routing Los Angeles, 121-107, on Sunday night at Staples Center.

This one was ugly.

The Lakers came out flat on the second night of a back-to-back and the Raptors took advantage, routing Los Angeles, 121-107, on Sunday night at Staples Center.

Less than 24 hours after they snapped a 16-game losing streak against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers got run out of the gym to start the game, trailing by a franchise record 25 points at the end of the first quarter.

Toronto led 42-17 after one, and never looked back, leading by as many as 31 at one point in the second quarter. The 42 points were the most allowed by the Lakers this season, and their 17 points were the fewest they've scored this season.

Toronto systemically took apart the Lakers on both ends of the court with precision passing, tenacious defense, and without the help of Kawhi Leonard who did not play in the game because of injury.

"In my experience, unfortunately, most of the time when a player like Kawhi sits out, that team ends up winning," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "There's a sense of freedom and joy that comes when a top player like that is out. We tried to explain that that's part of how this works, but it doesn't seem like we took that to heart."

Serge Ibaka led the Raptors with a career-high 34 points on 15-of-17 shooting in just 25 minutes. 

Ibaka outscored the Lakers by himself in the first quarter, and he didn't miss a shot until the third. He beat LA inside and outside on the way to the biggest offensive game of his career.

"I was just focused," Ibaka said. "I knew Kawhi was out tonight, so I just wanted to go out there and do my best."

With the Lakers' small lineups struggling to contain Ibaka early on, he became the first player to start a game 14 of 14 from the field since Shaquille O'Neal did it in February 2006, according to the NBA.

"That's pretty cool," Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. "The best thing is he's doing it with some real good composure. He's getting in there and taking his time. He's using his size, his power, and using pretty good footwork, so it's something we can go to."

Kyle Lowry added 21 points and 15 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors, who haven't lost to the Lakers since 2014.

LeBron James scored 18 points for the Lakers in the loss and Kyle Kuzma led the team with 24 points.

"They've been playing like they're the best team in the Eastern Conference so far," said James, who finished with 18 points and six assists. "They just came out and hit us right in the mouth, and it's going to be very hard to make a game of that when you're trying to expend so much energy to get back into it."

It was the worst loss of the season for the Lakers, and their first double-digit loss of the year. Overall, Los Angeles has lost eight consecutive games to Toronto and are 2-11 in their last 13 games since 2014. 

TIP-INS

Raptors: Leonard has sat out three of his first 10 games with Toronto, missing two games last month to manage his workload coming back from last season's injury struggles. He injured his foot late in the Raps' win at Phoenix on Friday night. Nurse doesn't know whether Leonard will play Monday at Utah. ... OG Anunoby took Leonard's spot in the starting lineup and contributed seven points.

Lakers: Starting with their fourth-quarter slump in Portland, the Lakers were outscored 75-34 in a 21:16 stretch spanning the two games. ... Fans at courtside included Denzel Washington, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Ariel Winter, middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and UFC featherweight title contender Brian Ortega, who will fight Max Holloway for the belt in Toronto on Dec. 8. 

BYE KAWHI

Leonard sat out with soreness in his left foot, depriving Lakers fans of their only look at the superstar before he could become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Lakers would love to sign a second superstar like Leonard, who grew up in the Inland Empire area, one hour east of Los Angeles.

BAD START

The Lakers' first quarter was shockingly bad. Toronto took a 41-10 lead with 2:21 still remaining in the first quarter, and Ibaka outscored the Lakers 20-17 in the opening period. Ibaka went 11 for 11 in the first half, while Lowry had 12 assists as the Raptors hit six 3-pointers and forced nine turnovers.

UP NEXT

Raptors: At Utah on Monday night. 

Lakers: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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