Kobe
Toronto Raptors 116 Final
Recap | Box Score
118 Los Angeles Lakers
Andrea Bargnani, PF 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5

A 9-minute audition to play for the Lakers next year, he did well. Wasn’t being passed the ball despite being guarded by Artest, but maintained interest and moved his feet well and grabbed a couple contested rebounds. A+. Why not?

Rudy Gay, SF 41 MIN | 7-26 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 6 TO | 17 PTS | -2

On point early but the shot quality dipped in the second half. Great defense on Kobe and in general in the first half. Delivered some key points in that third quarter where the Raptors kept pace. Fell asleep for a micro-second on Kobe’s tying three in regulation and missed the potential game-winner as well. Also had a another key miss late in OT in a one-on-one situation, and of course, at the OT buzzer as well. Both were makeable looks.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 17 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +4

Great shooting, good defense, high-energy, and going toe-to-toe with Dwight Howard. What does that earn you? A seat on the bench in the fourth quarter and OT so that we can play four guards with Amir in the middle. His work on the screen ‘n roll was impeccable and he even managed to block Howard, who he described as “the best center in the NBA. Picked up three fouls in the first half, but that didn’t stop him from being effective.

Kyle Lowry, PG 35 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +3

As said on the Rapcast, the Raptors go as he goes. Supplied the accurate shooting, especially from three, and ran the offense with minimal sputtering. The defense on Nash was tight and you won’t find many instances where he forced it. He’s quietly becoming an under-the-radar consistent performer. That three where Nash tied the game wasn’t his fault, as Gray hot in his way. Poor team defense.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 44 MIN | 12-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 28 PTS | +1

Man on fire. Coming back to Compton, the kid had his jumper oiled up and working with zero friction and full traction. The line speaks for itself. Whenever the Raptors needed a bucket, they went to him and he delivered. The only complaint I have is that with the game on the line, I’d expect someone like him to take responsibility on Kobe, rather than deferring it to Anderson. Had zero impact in OT as Kobe was on him.

Amir Johnson, PF 28 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +5

The line is modest but he was in that 4 guard lineup taking on Howard and did well to keep the big baby off the glass and under control, and most importantly, fouled him when need be. Had a couple huge defensive possessions in the fourth, including a steal on Kobe in a trap. The rebounding totals are disappointed, but that’s almost the product of the lineups, not reflective of his individual play.

Landry Fields, SF 24 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -3

Was used on occasion, for example early in the fourth to spell DeRozan, and I’d say he did his job well and gave Casey the type of minutes required, i.e., keep the boat floating, tempo down, and defense high.

Aaron Gray, C 15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8

Used against Howard as expected, and did well to grab whatever available rebounds were there and not get overpowered. Got in the way of Lowry has he was trying to defend Nash’s three. That was fail.

Sebastian Telfair, PG 5 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Great trade. F**k second round picks.

John Lucas, PG 18 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -6

Came in the second to provide cold-start offense, and continued his decent play into the fourth. No complaints from my end other than a pick ‘n roll or two gone south, but for his talent and salary, its decent returns.

Alan Anderson, SG 29 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -2

Guarded Kobe for the most part in the fourth and made his fair share of clutch plays as well. There were some stretches in the second and third where you felt like he was taking the game over to lose it, but settled and played a mostly composed game, which included a clutch jumper over Meeks as Casey went to Anderson with DeRozan covered. Unfortunately, he’ll be remembered for missing the FT which would’ve tied the game with 7 seconds left.

Dwane Casey

Benching Valanciunas was questionable, so was playing the 4-guard lineup against Howard. I guess he figured that the Lakers frontline isn’t that great so he could get away with it, but the bottom line is that the Raptors were -10 in the fourth quarter and the paint was wide open. Of those -10, 5 were on second chance points. He also played Gray over Jonas in OT which makes no sense. That’s the game right there. He went all unorthodox by trying to exploit Anderson v Meeks, with DeRozan being covered by Kobe, which was a decent call and produced some results.