Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Raptors – Game 67

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (33-34) | Toronto Raptors (32-36)


The Los Angeles Lakers won their third game in a row, defeating the Toronto Raptors 122-112, off a dazzling performance by D’Angelo Russell

The Lakers vs Raptors played Friday night in Los Angeles.

Lakers vs Raptors Anthony Davis and D'Angelo Russell
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

With Anthony Davis taking a backseat in this one, D’Angelo Russell stepped up to the plate and totaled 28 points (10-for-17 FGs, 5-for-8 3s), five rebounds, and nine assists.

I just want to bring that fun back to this organization,” said Russell. “Bring that laughing factor, bring all of that, and let it translate on the floor.”

Of Russell’s five triples, four came in the fourth quarter, as he gave energy to the crowd, and the crowd gave it back. This was his first game back after missing six straight games due to an ankle sprain. The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-1 in Russell’s five games.

I was just feeling it, honestly. I was just embracing it,” Russell said on his fourth-quarter shooting barrage. “It was just fun. I couldn’t help but smile.”

He’s a really good basketball player that plays the game the right way. You don’t really see him too many times in the midst of a game making a wild play,” Austin Reaves said of Russell. “He’s very under control, plays at his own pace, and, like I said, he’s just super talented.”

Reaves played a crucial role in this game, where the Lakers’ bench saw three of their reserves score in double figures. Reaves had 18 points (6-for-10 FGs, 0-for-2 3s, 6-for-6 FTs) and five assists.

It was a playoff-type atmosphere at the Lakers vs Raptors game. 

You’re just looking for something to get out of it,” Reaves on his timely buckets when the Lakers struggled.

The Lakers vs Raptors start of the first half.

Lakers vs Raptors D'Angelo Russell
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Also off the bench, Rui Hachimura finished with 16 points (7-for-9 FGs) and three rebounds. Dennis Schroder had 23 points (8-for-17 FGs, 3-for-6 3s, 4-for4 FTs), seven assists, and four steals. 

We had a great rhythm, and that is something that we hope we continue throughout the season,” Wenyen Gabriel said after the Lakers’ bench scored 61 points.

Jarred Vanderbilt also had a solid outing with 16 points (5-for-7 FGs, 2-for-4 3s, 4-for-4 FTs), four rebounds, and two steals. However, Davis struggled to get anything going for himself, totaling just eight points (4-for-7 FGs), nine rebounds, three assists, and four blocks.

Shoutout to AD because the way that they were guarding him, it didn’t really allow him to get many touches or many looks,” Reaves said of Davis. “Seven shots for a guy of that caliber. It just shows the character that he has. That’s super impressive when you got a leader like that. It trickles down to everybody else.”

The Toronto Raptors didn’t go down easy, though, as Scottie Barnes exploded for 32 points (13-for-19 FGs, 1-for-4 3s, 5-for-6 FTs), nine rebounds, and seven assists. OG Anunoby also popped off for 31 points (12-for-14 FGs, 4-for-6 3s) and five steals.

Davis wasn’t the only star who struggled, as Pascal Siakam also had a rough night, finishing with just 12 points (5-for-13 FGs, 2-for-5 3s) and four rebounds. Jakob Poeltl picked up Siakam’s slack with 17 points (8-for-17 FGs), ten rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

The Lakers vs Raptors end of the first half.

However, no Toronto reserve would score in double digits, with Gary Trent Jr. being a key highlight, as he had zero points on 0-for-9 shooting from the field.

The Lakers vs Raptors start of the second half.

Lakers vs Raptors Austin Reaves
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A terrific second quarter from the Lakers produced a 39-27 edge over Toronto, and a 70-62 halftime lead, despite Davis taking only four shots. The Lakers closed the first half on a 17-7 run after trailing 55-53.

However, Toronto opened up the second half with a 9-0 run after poor transition defense from Los Angeles. The Lakers saw their eight-point halftime lead evaporate in less than two minutes, as the Raptors took advantage of two missed 3’s from Vanderbilt, a turnover, and a missed layup from Russell.

Los Angeles’ bench, for a second straight half, got the Lakers back into it with an excellent run to close the quarter, as Reaves and Hachimura helped them trim a 12-point deficit to five at the quarter’s end. Yet, the Lakers were outscored 28-15 by the Raptors in the third.

Reaves electrified the building on both ends with some pretty moves on offense and then a strip of Trent Jr. that caused a turnover.

A 15-6 run to start the fourth, and the Lakers had a 100-96 lead with 7:59 left. Russell, Reaves, Schroder, and Vanderbilt made some big plays over the first few minutes of the fourth. Russell hit three big-time momenta 3’s, including one out of a time-out to counter Toronto’s previous hit.

The Lakers improved to 33-34 and 8-3 with their new group. The Lakers are now one game under .500 for the first time this season since they began 0-1. The Lakers also, for the first time since 2014, beat the Raptors. Up next, the New York Knicks.

The fans are ready to explode at a certain point of the game. They’re ready. I know that. I just want to bring that energy and give them that,” Russell said of the Los Angeles crowd. “I want to be the guy that’s hyping up the crowd and letting them feel that more because it’s huge for us.”

The Lakers vs Raptors final score was 122-112, LA.

The Lakers now take on the New York Knicks Sunday, March 12th, at 6:00 p.m. PT. The game is on ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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