Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

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Raptors Lose To Lakers… And Referees

Toronto loses a heartbreaker to the Los Angeles Lakers with some controversial calls down the stretch.

Toronto faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers and this was a game where Toronto was at a disadvantage from the opening tip. After Jakob Poetl sprained his ankle and was ruled out for the next couple of weeks it represented a major issue for this Raptors team, who is going to play center. In shocking fashion it was Thaddeus Young who got the call up to start last night, although he has not been a fixture in the rotation by any means. Thad starting went about as well as you could imagine on defense. Anthony Davis scored 16 points in the opening minutes and it came in the form of pick n roll lobs, and just simple post ups on Thad. Nobody expected Thad to be the Davis stopper, but it was not going well to say the least. Scottie and Pascal made sure that the Lakers lead wouldn’t get out of hand as they combined for 15 in the opening quarter.

The second quarter is where RJ put his stamp on this game as he scored 14 points alone in this quarter and helped Toronto get the lead at halftime. RJ was making great decisions off the catch, he was putting together some great finishes, and he was just always positioned well to attack the Lakers. 

Enough can’t be said about the night that Immanuel Quickley had though, Toronto hasn’t had dynamic guard play like this all season. Quickley was burning the Lakers with his elite first step, and his outside shooting has proven to be a reliable weapon for Toronto as well. Another thing that popped for Quickley is his ability to move the ball while simultaneously keeping it out of harm’s way. Quickley fouled out late in the game after some controversial calls but he finished with 21 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Thaddeus Young may not have played well on defense but offensively he did as much as you could ask for. He finished with 10 points 4 assists 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block which is pretty great for Thad Young who got put on the spot tonight.

The fourth quarter is where the controversy ensued surrounding the referees. For reference, the Los Angeles Lakers shot 23 free throws in the 4th quarter alone, while the Toronto Raptors shot a mere 2 free throws. Anthony Davis had 11 of those free throws so Davis alone had more attempts from the foul line than the entire Raptors team. The referees and the foul calls are such a controversial topic because Toronto did more than enough to win this game. This was a beautiful game down the stretch and Toronto and LA were going back and forth, there were multiple lead changes, just some great basketball to end this game. Pascal Siakam put on a great clutch performance with 13 points in the quarter and just some magnificent shooting from outside. It felt like whenever Toronto was in a bind , Pascal was there to hit the tough shots and make the right plays. Scottie Barnes also had a big quarter as well with 11 points and 3 assists. Barnes was consistently barreling toward the rim and either finishing strong at the rack or getting off a floater. Gary Trent Jr. had a huge fourth as well, and was really lighting it up. One of these threes was to give the Raptors a 1 point lead late in the game. 

As the game got closer and closer to the end, you see why Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic went on that big rant about the refs, Quickley was called for multiple personal fouls which included a questionable flagrant foul which led to him being fouled out. There were multiple ticky tack fouls called on Anthony Davis which upon review you could see were very generous calls. But perhaps the worst call of the night was the offensive foul called on RJ Barrett which wiped a game-tying Scottie Barnes three off the board. This foul was once again, very generous toward the Lakers and to say Ben Taylor and his crew messed up the flow of this game would be an understatement. After this foul the game was winding down so Toronto had to play the foul game and would eventually go on to lose. For a matchup like this featuring all these great players and what was a pretty great game, the next morning headline shouldn’t be about the refs but here we are once again. That level of free throw disparity combined with that final offensive foul just left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, well everyone besides Lakers fans im sure.

Despite the loss though it seems that the trade is still working out magnificently, Toronto is still playing their best ball of the season, the offense is humming, the lineups make more sense, just a tough way to lose a game.