Quick Reaction: Lakers 110, Raptors 101

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AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
LA Lakers 110 Final
Box Score
101 TOR Raptors

B+
C. Boucher32 MIN, 19 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 7-16 FG, 1-6 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

He ran around Gasol on the other end for offensive rebounds, then hit a midrange jumper in his eye, and finally forced a turnover, on two of the first three possessions. So it was a hectic start to the game. But also hit jumpers, rolled hard, and was dramatically improved — both in terms of process and result — from last night’s dud. Had some tip-ins in the third quarter as Toronto cut the lead below 20. Wasn’t enough.

B
D. Bembry31 MIN, 12 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 5 STL, 5-10 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -15 +/-

Was extremely quiet in the first half, but had a nice pump and go drive to open Toronto’s scoring in the second, though he missed a triple on the next possession. Some nice connective passing, too, and hit the offensive glass. Needs a point guard alongside him as the primary initiator, but he can do plenty of good stuff. Crossed the pants off of Talen Horton-Tucker in the fourth and tried to YAM but missed by a mile. Good effort, though.

A+
O. Anunoby9 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -13 +/-

His midrange shot is smoother than it’s ever looked, and he’s throwing it up there soft and easy. His post-ups were herky-jerky, though, and his first touch in the post ended up with him on the ground and a turnover in the box score. Got ejected in the first quarter for accidentally treating Dennis Schroder like he was a little teapot. This grade is entirely for his effortless takedown form. Truly the strongest man alive.

C-
G. Trent33 MIN, 11 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4-15 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -17 +/-

A tale of two Trents. Started hot. This man can flat-out shoot. His first shot was a wide-legged stepback three, which he drilled with ease. First guy in to defend Anunoby after Montrezl Harrell charged him for teapotting Schroder. Then after Anunoby was ejected, he got an open-court steal and dimed up Pascal. This guy is a Raptor4Life already. But he cooled off in the second quarter when the rest of the team fell asleep, and it was a 30-point deficit before you knew it. Shows how much Toronto relies on Trent already. Didn’t get hot again after that, even committing an offensive foul trying to draw a shooting foul. That’s fine. Trent has earned some leeway.

C-
P. Siakam40 MIN, 27 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 7-21 FG, 0-6 3FG, 13-15 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 5 +/-

He struggled in this one; don’t let the final point total fool you. Settled far too often for jumpers, but realistically there weren’t driving lanes for him. With Toronto missing most of its best shooters, Siakam just didn’t have enough spacing around the floor to unlock his game. That being said, he also had a lot of trouble guarding Markieff Morris, who hit three triples over a late Siakam just in the first quarter. Disappeared in the second quarter with the rest of the team as the Lakers hit every shot and built an insurmountable lead. Was a relatively invisible night for him, but he drew an immense amount of defensive attention whenever he touched the ball. Siakam’s struggles were more a symptom of the team’s poor play than a cause of it. All that being said, he adjusted well in the second half, attacked the rim, drew free throws, and addressed some of his issues in the first half. His efficiency numbers weren’t great, but there was improvement.

B+
M. Flynn33 MIN, 11 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 4-11 FG, 2-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 3 +/-

A REAL tale of two halves. He started out jumpy, as he settled for some real tough shots a night after creating good looks for himself. When he misses, everything is long, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen such consistency in misses before. Some passing and dribbling mistakes too, which is less common for him. Started the second half with Anunoby in teapot-tipping jail, and he improved dramatically. Found some space on the drive, and his defense was pristine. The guy is legitimately a defensive positive as an undersized rookie point guard — have you ever heard of such a thing?

D
S. Johnson26 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -9 +/-

Threw a hella nice lob to Boucher in transition, which wasn’t finished. Threw a gorgeous bounce pass to a cutting Bembry, who also didn’t finish after an uncalled foul and then picked up a tech.

C
Y. Watanabe19 MIN, 8 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 3-7 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-3 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Chipped in a couple when Toronto was down and out, tossing in an and-1 around the rim in the second quarter that was nice to see; finishing around the rim has been difficult for him. Had a bad closeout at the end of the third quarter, which is how you know this game was in the dumpster. Then, though, dunked on multiple Lakers in transition in the fourth. That kind of up-and-down game (more down), but good for Yuta.

B
A. Baynes12 MIN, 9 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-

He continued hitting his jumper(s)! Don’t look now, but Baynes has been quite solid for about four games in a row, now. Added tip-ins on the offensive end, and was solid defensively, too. Didn’t get a ton of minutes, but was effective when he did play, even if his plus-minus didn’t show it. With the Lakers shooting so well, I understand why Nurse kept Baynes off the floor, but you can’t blame Baynes.

B
Nick Nurse

Went to a zone midway through the third quarter, which was something. But, man, I dunno. What’s he supposed to do? He had eight healthy bodies, none of them point guards other than a struggling (in the first half) rookie in Malachi Flynn, so what are his real rotation choices? The Lakers made 18 threes and Toronto made 5. That was the game, which had little to do with Nurse. Toronto kept fighting all the way, which is something good.

Things We Saw

  1. Toronto’s entire emphasis seemed to be on offensive execution, which was solid, but the defense bordered on pathetic. Very little awareness of the full court, and very little effort closing out to shooters. If it seems like a trend, well, it has been. The defense improved after the game was decided, which is tough to say is indicative of good stuff or really not worth much. But would be better to see better defensive focus from jump street.
  2. Flat-out bizarre to see Marc Gasol in another jersey. I know it was only a season and a half with Marc, but you can grow used to a guy. He’s had a difficult transition to the Lakers, at times, but he was absolutely stellar in this one. He scored, passed, rebounded, defended. It hurt, after watching how little he had left to give in the playoffs for Toronto.
  3. 18-5
  4. The Raptors lost this one by approximately 30. Don’t let the final score fool you. They fought back into the game after Los Angeles stopped trying. There were 24 minutes of garbage time, which Toronto won.

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