Man City powers on, Chelsea up to 2nd after win
LOS ANGELES — Serge Ibaka made his first 14 shots on the way to a career-high 34 points, and the Toronto Raptors didn't need an injured Kawhi Leonard in a 121-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time).
Ibaka had 10 rebounds and didn't miss a shot until 5:16 remained in the third quarter, finishing 15-of-17 in a masterful performance. Kyle Lowry added 21 points and 15 assists as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors improved to 9-1 with their eighth consecutive win over the Lakers since 2014.
Toronto opened a stunning 31-point lead in the first quarter and didn't let it dwindle significantly until the final minutes, when the Lakers' youngster got the margin down to 117-107 with LeBron James on the bench. Toronto was forced to reinsert its starters in the final minutes to preserve the win.
James finished with 18 points and six assists. Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points and Brandon Ingram added 16 for the Lakers, They are 4-6 after their first 10 games with James.
Leonard sat out with soreness in his left foot, depriving Lakers fans of their only look at the superstar before he could become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Lakers would love to sign a second superstar like Leonard, who grew up in the Inland Empire area one hour east of Los Angeles.
While the Raptors embarrassed Los Angeles without any help from Leonard, the Lakers followed a resilient win in Portland on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) with perhaps their worst half since James' arrival.
Toronto took a 41-10 lead with 2:21 still remaining in the first quarter, and Ibaka outscored the Lakers by himself (20-17) in the opening period. Ibaka went 11-for-11 in the first half, while Lowry had 12 assists as the Raptors hit six three-pointers and forced nine turnovers.
The Lakers also missed their first eight three-point attempts before James made back-to-back triples in the third quarter.
Raptors: At Utah on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).
Lakers: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
LONDON — Manchester City displayed ruthless efficiency on Sunday to raise more questions over who can stop Pep Guardiola's team powering to a second straight English Premier League crown.
Raheem Sterling scored twice and goal-poacher Sergio Aguero was also on target as City marched back to the top of the standings with a 6-1 victory against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola's players punished almost every mistake made in the opening stages by a beleaguered Southampton side as they led 3-0 after just 18 minutes.
The visitors pulled one back with a penalty but it proved a minor setback for City, which again dominated Southampton in the second half.
"I thought it was a great team performance," Sterling said. "We were brilliant at times today. It is great times at the moment."
In Sunday's other game, secondplace Chelsea breezed past Crystal Palace 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Alvaro Morata continued his recent resurgence with two goals and fellow Spaniard Pedro added a third as Chelsea proved too strong for Roy Hodgson's Palace.
Unbeaten Chelsea made a slow start but Morata cheered the Stamford Bridge crowd by putting his side in front from close range in the 32nd after pouncing on a cross by Pedro.
Palace, beaten in its previous five league matches, leveled early in the second half when James McArthur sent Andros Townsend racing clear and he slammed a ferocious right-foot shot into the net.
Chelsea reacted by bringing on dangerman Eden Hazard and Mateo Kovacic for Willian and Ross Barkley, and within minutes the home team was back in front.
Hazard took a free kick on the right and the ball eluded several players in the penalty box before reaching the unmarked Morata at the back post, and he struck his fourth goal in his last four league games.
Pedro added the third goal from a left-wing cross by another Spaniard, Marcos Alonso, in the 72nd as Chelsea moved on to the same points tally as Liverpool, two behind City.
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka (9) and Danny Green (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Manchester City's Leroy Sane (left) duels for the ball with Southampton's Cedric Soares during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018.