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.


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.