With Kyle Lowry out for the next two weeks and Serge Ibaka out indefinitely, the Toronto Raptors were shorthanded coming into Sunday night’s game against the Lakers. On top of that, LA entered the contest on a seven-game winning streak behind Anthony Davis and LeBron James after dropping their opening night game against the Kawhi-led Los Angeles Clippers. The stage was set for a disaster for Toronto.
Nurse: “We all didn’t think we were very deep at all a couple weeks ago. I’ve been saying we got 8 guys I really like and 3 guys are missing. So I’m gonna have to start liking a few more guys here pretty quickly. This is their chance.”
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 11, 2019
Boy, Nurse might be liking a few more guys on his squad after this game.
The Raptors started out hesitant and looked out of sorts, falling behind early. Of course, this made sense given the new starting lineup and absence of Lowry. Yet, the Lakers looked timid at times too, with LeBron seemingly looking for assists over points. Despite the slow start with some turnovers, the Raptors somehow only trailed by a point after the first quarter courtesy of folk hero, Matt Thomas, who finished the quarter with a very timely five points.
At the end of the first quarter, the Raptors had ten bench points to the Lakers’ four, which would be a sign of things to come. The Raptors mostly trailed the Lakers in other significant categories, especially points in the paint, with LA up on the Raptors 22 to eight thanks to efforts from Davis, JaVale McGee, and even Dwight Howard.
Starting in the second quarter, Fred VanVleet kept the Raptors in the game for a short while, but the Lakers picked up the pace and garnered a larger lead. Toronto needed Fred, who finished with 23 points, ten assists, and seven rebounds, because Pascal Siakam was extremely cold to start this game and entered halftime only 3-of-13 from