The Toronto Raptors finally put an end to the losing streak in Los Angeles on Friday night, however an injury to the starting center Jonas Valanciunas put a damper on what was otherwise a great night for the Raptors.
Toronto was led by Kyle Lowry's 25 points, with 21 of those points coming from beyond the arc. DeMar DeRozan also contributed 18 points, with 7 of those coming during crunch-time with under 4 minutes to go. These two have proven time and time again that they are one of the best backcourt tandems in the NBA. With their strong performances, the Raps ended a three-game skid and got their first win in this 5 game road trip.
Jonas Valanciunas had just 3 points on the night before breaking his non-shooting hand due to a hard foul by Kobe Bryant. The injury occured with under a minute remaining in the first half. Jonas had the same injury occur during his rookie year and missed 18 games.
"It's unfortunate, and we're definitely going to miss him because of what we do" Kyle Lowry said after the game. Valanciunas has been having a breakout season thus far, averaging nearly a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Terrence Ross returned to the team for the first time since his thumb injury and gave a spark off the bench with 8 points in 14 minutes.
Defensively, the focus when playing the Lakers is always to try to contain Kobe Bryant. The Raptors did just that, holding the future hall of famer to just 10 points in his 38 minutes played.
The Lakers were led by rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell. The #2 pick in the draft looked very impressive, contributing 17 points in 33 minutes played. Keep in mind that Russell is only 19 years old. This kid has an extremely bright future ahead of him.
The Raptors offense looked very stagnant at times. However, at times it also looked beautiful. After a 12-2 run sparked by brilliant passing and ball movement, the Raptors found themselves in front 91-75 with under 8 minutes to go.
Late in the game it appeared as if the Raptors were going to let this one slip away. Metta World Peace hit a huge 3-pointer that cut Toronto's lead to 6 with 4 minutes remaining. It wasn't enough for the Lakers in the end, as DeRozan's strong performance down the stretch proved to be too much to overcome.
Kyle Lowry tied his career high for three-pointers made in a game, with seven.
"Once Kyle gets hot like that, it's tough to guard him." DeRozan said. "We looked for him a lot."
The Raptors remain out west and will take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.