Rap­tors make it 11-0 over Lak­ers

Sun.Star Baguio - - Prime Sports - AL MEN­DOZA

HIS­TORY just keeps re­peat­ing it­self al­most ev­ery time the Lak­ers and the Rap­tors duel in the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NBA).

It hap­pened again on Sun­day (PHL time) when the Rap­tors de­feated the Lak­ers at the Walt Dis­ney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the NBA’s third play­ing day.

With Kyle Lowry fir­ing a game-high 33 points and grab­bing a ca­reer-high 14 re­bounds, Toronto beat Los An­ge­les 107-92 for the Lak­ers’ 1-1 start af­ter slump­ing to a sea­son-low 35.4 per­cent field-goal shoot­ing.

It was Toronto’s 11th straight win over Los An­ge­les as the Rap­tors haven’t lost to the Lak­ers since the 2014-2015 sea­son.

And, kind of amaz­ingly, Toronto did it mi­nus Kawhi Leonard, the team’s undis­puted chief cog when the Rap­tors won their first NBA ti­tle last year.

Leonard showed his old self on Fri­day but he fell short try­ing to give the Clip­pers, his new team, a win over the Lak­ers as Los An­ge­les stole a 103101 squeaker be­hind LeBron James’ fol­low-up of his own miss in the NBA restart’s opener.

Toronto’s win over the Lak­ers sort of establishe­d the team new leader in Lowry, who found a new strong backup in OG Anunoby, who scored 23 points.

Lowry banged Toronto’s big­gest bas­ket—a three from the wing—for the Rap­tors’ im­preg­nable 9786 lead with 3:01 to play.

“He was vin­tage Kyle tonight,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “He was scor­ing and fly­ing around and tak­ing charges and com­pet­ing and get­ting us some crit­i­cal buck­ets. He was great.”

The res­i­dent coach of the house said to me, curtly: “Nurse out­coached Vo­gel (Frank) to­day.”

In­deed, yes, but then, Nurse was merely main­tain­ing tra­di­tion as Los An­ge­les hasn’t beaten Toronto since win­ning 129-122 in over­time at LA’s Sta­ples Cen­ter on Nov. 30, 2014.

Even James’ sec­ond dou­ble-dou­ble in a row (20 points and 10 re­bounds) was of no mean­ing as the Lak­ers felt the pinch of An­thony Davis’ puny 14 points af­ter he scored 34 in that win against the Clip­pers.

The Lak­ers lost their triple touch, too, miss­ing 30 of their 40 threes.

“We just have to knock them down if we want to win,” said James.

I couldn’t agree more.

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