Kyle Lowry had 37 points and 11 assists, Pascal Siakam had 39 points and 13 rebounds and the short-handed Toronto Raptors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 121-114 on Sunday night.
LeBron James had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists before going back to the locker room with 6:42 to play. It was the second game back for James after missing 20 because of a sprained right ankle.
Toronto ended a three-game losing streak despite not having Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher or Gary Trent Jr. available because of injuries or to rest after losing at Utah on Saturday.
Although he was linked to the Lakers at the trade deadline, Lowry said it didn’t factor into his dominant performance.
“There’s no extra motivation,” Lowry said. “I didn’t care about anything other than winning this game.”
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DeAndre’ Bembry had 14 points off the bench and the Raptors led by as many as 21 to hand the defending NBA champion Lakers another baffling defeat.
Siakim said being able to close out the win after failing to do so in other games recently represented a positive step.
“I think we’ve got to take care of the ball. Obviously, that’s the most important (thing in the fourth quarter),” Siakam said. “Staying solid, continuing to follow the game plan on defence, and I think that’s all we can do. Obviously, we know what’s happening and we talk amongst each other and then Coach (Nick Nurse) puts an emphasis on it too, so we’ve got to go out there and execute it.”
Kyle Kuzma had 24 points for Los Angeles, Anthony Davis chipped in with 12 and Andre Drummond had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, the Raptors led 72-59 at the half after blitzing the Lakers for 40 points in the second. A rampaging Lowry had 13, including the final seven points for Toronto going into the locker room, and Bembry chipped in with 11.
The Lakers got back within 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Lowry responded with a personal 8-2 run.
Lowry was 8 for 13 from 3-point range and 12 for 20 overall.
Kuzma hit a 3 with 58.8 seconds to play to cut Toronto’s lead to six before Bembry and Siakam hit free throws to seal it.
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Siakam had to rely on his jumper to create offence. He was 4 for 8 from 3-point range and just as effective with his floater in the lane.
“I’ve always felt like taking that,” Siakam said. “I’m just trying to get to the spot that I feel like it’s comfortable.”