Gameday: Raptors vs Lakers, March 18

The Toronto Raptors humiliated the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week. On Monday evening, the Raptors put the Lakers to the sword to such an extent that James hurled the ball with all his might at Scottie Barnes before fleeing the arena without speaking to reporters. Our own Adon Moss dove into the film to prove that the two had in fact been chippy throughout the entire game. Now they get a chance at a rematch later the same work week.

Toronto only won 114-103 in their previous contest, the Wayne Ellington and Talen Horton-Tucker went off in garbage time. The game was much less close than the score indicated. Pascal Siakam scored with complete and total ease. Scottie Barnes owned the paint, tossing in layups, runners, hooks, tip-ins, and everything in between. None could withstand his post-ups. Gary Trent jr. shot 11 of 13 from the free throw line.

On the other end, only two Lakers starters reached double figures. They couldn’t solve Precious Achiuwa at the rim or hit from outside. Toronto’s defense was immaculate. With Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent jr. completely off the injury report, Toronto has the tools to offer a repeat performance.

The Lakers attempt a huge number of shots at the rim — at the second-highest frequency in the league. The Raptors held them to 36 points in the paint. That, more than anything else, was the story of the game. Toronto had a season-high (tied) nine blocks. The Lakers shot under 50 percent within 10 feet.

Do it again, and the Raptors win. Even if the Lakers manage to score, their defense has been miserable recently, and Toronto’s offense pristine. There are a lot of ways the Raptors could win this game. They’re giving up 8.5 points on the line! That’s, ahh, pretty crazy for a team playing against LeBron James.

Toronto Raptors Results, Lineups & Injuries

Previous Results

@ Clippers W 103-100
@ Lakers W 114-103
@ Nuggets W 127-115
@ Suns W 117-112
@ Spurs W 119-104

Probable Lineup

PF: P. Siakam, C. Boucher, T. Young
SF: S. Barnes, Y. Watanabe
C: K. Birch, P. Achiuwa
PG: F. VanVleet D. Banton
SG: G. Trent Jr., A. Brooks, S. Mykhailiuk

Injuries

OG Anunoby, SFOut moreAnunoby (finger) won’t play Wednesday against the Clippers, Blake Murphy of The Athletic reports.
Malachi Flynn, PGOut moreFlynn will be out at least 10 days due to his left hamstring strain before being re-evaluated by the Raptors, Amy Audibert of Sportsnet reports.

Los Angeles Lakers Results, Lineups & Injuries

Previous Results

@ Timberwolves L 124-104
vs Raptors L 114-103
@ Suns L 140-111
vs Wizards W 122-109
@ Rockets L 139-130

Probable Lineup

PF: A. Reaves, C. Anthony, S. Johnson, W. Gabriel
SF: L. James, T. Ariza, K. Bazemore
C: D. Howard
PG: R. Westbrook, A. Bradley
SG: M. Monk, T. Horton-Tucker, W. Ellington, D.J. Augustin

Injuries

Talen Horton-Tucker, SGDay-To-Day moreHorton-Tucker (ankle) is questionable for Friday’s game against the Raptors, Harrison Faigen of SBNation.com reports.
LeBron James, SFDay-To-Day
Anthony Davis, PFOut moreDavis (foot) will return to light, on-court activities Monday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports.
Kendrick Nunn, GOut moreNunn (knee) won’t be available until at least March, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Betting Lines

laltor
+8.5Spread-8.5
+280Money Line-350
Over/Under
224.5

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