Lowry scores 33 to lead Raptors to 11th straight over Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, left, and JR Smith, right, guard Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Aug. 1, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Lowry scores 33 to lead Raptors to 11th straight over Lakers

  • Raptors, the second-place team in the Eastern Conference. They haven’t lost to Los Angeles since the 2014-2015 season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: Kyle Lowry had 33 points and a career-high 14 rebounds and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors restarted their season by beating the slow-starting Los Angeles Lakers for the 11th straight time, 107-92 on Saturday night.
OG Anunoby scored 23 points for the Raptors, the second-place team in the Eastern Conference. They haven’t lost to Los Angeles since the 2014-2015 season.
Lowry had a strong second half to help turn back a surge by the Lakers, the Western Conference leaders who are 1-1 in the restart. The Lakers’ magic number for clinching the top seed in the West remains at one.
Lowry’s biggest shot was a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 97-86 lead with 3:01 to play.
“He was vintage Kyle tonight,” coach Nick Nurse said. “He was scoring and flying around and taking charges and competing and getting us some critical buckets. He was great.”
Lowry was all for a full-speed reentry.
“Nick says he’s going to kind of ease us back in and use it as an exhibition,” Lowry said. “We’ve got too many competitive guys that want to go out there and play and hoop and win games, especially against the guys like the Lakers and with the team that’s No. 1 in the West. The competitive juices get going.”
LeBron James had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Davis had just 14 points after he scored 34 in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers in their first game back on Thursday night. Kyle Kuzma scored 16.
The Lakers shot a season-low 35.4% from the field.
“I don’t think there’s anything you can do better,” James said. “You execute your offense to get the best shot and we did that tonight. We went 10 for 40 from the 3-point line. I believe a lot of those 40 3s are great looks after getting to the point, knowing what they’re going to give up. We just have to step up and knock them down.”
James hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 76-72 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Anunoby responded with consecutive 3s for a 78-76 lead. The Raptors continued to pull away and Anunoby made a layup for a 90-83 lead.
With James and Davis struggling, the Raptors jumped to a 13-0 lead behind Anunoby and Lowry before the Lakers got back into it behind their bench.
The Lakers’ reserves outscored the Raptors 13-2 in the first quarter and 31-6 in the first half to help Los Angeles to a 44-41 halftime lead. Kuzma had nine points and Alex Caruso seven.
James had seven points and Davis just one in the first half.
The Raptors “did a great job of really making other people beat them,” Kuzma said. “I think for most of the game they double-teamed Anthony and LeBron in the post and kind of left a lot of guys open to make some shots. We just didn’t hit shots tonight. We got what we wanted, great shots, open shots. It was tough for us to hit ‘em.”

TIP-INS
Lakers: L.A. hasn’t beaten Toronto since winning 129-122 in overtime at Staples Center on Nov. 30, 2014.
Raptors: Toronto’s last regular-season game was March 9 at Utah, when it completed a five-game Western Conference road trip. ... Due to travel restrictions in Canada, the Raptors reconvened on June 22 in Fort Myers, Florida, to prepare for the resumption of the season.

UP NEXT
Lakers: Play the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Raptors: Play the Miami Heat on Monday.


Guardiola’s faith in Jesus bodes well for major clash

Updated 28 min 23 sec ago

Guardiola’s faith in Jesus bodes well for major clash

  • Brazilian player says he uses his compatriot Ronaldo as a benchmark

LONDON: The performance of Gabriel Jesus in Manchester City’s 2-1 Champions League victory over 13-time winners Real Madrid has given manager Pep Guardiola great heart as he seeks to end the club’s quest for the coveted crown.

The 23-year-old Brazilian made light of the absence of talismanic striker Sergio Aguero and followed up his impressive display in the last 16 first leg win by the same scoreline in Madrid with a match-winning contribution at the Etihad on Friday night.

Guardiola’s side face Lyon next Saturday in Lisbon in a one-off quarterfinal after the French side eliminated Juventus.

City with all their firepower might be seen as favorites but recent history suggests otherwise with Lyon having beaten them 2-1 in Manchester and then drawn 2-2 at home in last season’s Group stage.

The club’s record goalscorer Aguero — who was an unused substitute in the first leg back in February — is undergoing treatment for a knee injury in Barcelona.

Guardiola, though, feels that Jesus’s performances has given an extra pep in the team’s step after a disappointing defense of their Premier League title.

He believes with the confidence gained by Jesus in getting the better of the Spanish giants this can be a launching pad to at last triumph in a competition they have failed to shine in in the past despite the enormous investment by the Abu Dhabi owners. Their best showing is the 2016 semifinals under Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini.

“He’s (Jesus) the man of the match for these two games, he was decisive for us,” said Guardiola in the warm afterglow of the victory.

“He helped us when we suffered in the bad moments. He is the best guy in these situations.

“Gabriel always helps us through more than goals but for a striker it is important to score.

“Big players have to show in the biggest stages in the big games and he showed it twice against the kings of this competition.

“It was a big step forward for him to show: ‘Here I am, I can win games by myself.’”

Jesus, who has scored six Champions League goals this season, after netting four each in his previous two campaigns, says he uses his compatriot Ronaldo as a benchmark.

“His quality is different from me but I have to work to be a great striker,” Jesus told BT Sport.

The City manager is also emboldened ahead of the Lisbon trip with the assured display at the back — so often this season seen as thir Achilles heel. It is an area which Guardiola has invested in already bringing Dutch international center-back Nathan Ake to the club from relegated Bournemouth this week.

“The most important thing tonight was we didn’t make mistakes behind,” he said.

“We have suffered for that in this competition before.

“We were incredibly stable behind.”

Guardiola — who guided Barcelona twice to the Champions League trophy but failed to repeat the success with Bayern Munich — said beating Real is significant for everyone at the club but will count for little if they falter now.

“It is important,” he said.

“For Real Madrid to beat a big team in the last 16 is normal.

“For us, if we are going to be champions we have to beat these teams. “If we think that (beating Real) is enough we will show how small we are.

“We don’t have a lot of presence in Europe so it is so important for the club, for all the workers at the club and for our supporters.”

Guardiola, though, cautioned against taking Lyon lightly.

“I just spoke with the scouting department about Lyon and they told me to be alert,” said Guardiola.

“The big clubs lift the titles. Real Madrid reached the final three times in a row and this shows we can do it, but we have to see how we recover.

“Last season we played Lyon twice and we could not beat them. We have to be calm.”

The remainder of the competition will be played in Portugal with the semifinals scheduled for August 18/19 and the final on Aug. 23.