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NBA: Raptors prevail to continue Lakers’ downward slide

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The Los Angeles Lakers began the night finally healthy, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis back from injuries. However, the Lakers are playing their worst basketball of the season.

Trailing by as many as 21 points, the host Lakers lost to the Toronto Raptors 121-114 Sunday evening.

Pascal Siakam carried the scoring load for Toronto, finishing with 39 points and 13 rebounds. Kyle Lowry tallied a season-high 37 points and added 11 assists for the Raptors.

DeAndre’ Bembry chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds for Toronto.

The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games and are 0-2 since James returned to the starting lineup after a right, high-ankle sprain. James finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists but played 27 minutes and departed with 6:42 left due to soreness in the ankle.

Point guard Dennis Schröder did not play for the Lakers due to the NBA’s healthy and safety protocols. The Lakers are 0-5 this season with Schröder out of the lineup.

Even more embarrassing for the Lakers is Toronto played short-handed in the second night of a back-to-back after going toe-to-toe with the Utah Jazz in a tough road loss.

OG Anunoby (left calf strain), Chris Boucher (left knee sprain), Gary Trent Jr. (left leg contusion), Fred VanVleet (left hip flexor) and Paul Watson (left knee tendonitis) all sat out for the Raptors.

Kyle Kuzma came off the bench to provide some offensive firepower for Los Angeles, finishing with a team-high 24 points.

Andre Drummond totaled 19 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Davis finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

With the Lakers’ loss to Toronto, the Dallas Mavericks (36-28) losing at home to the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers (36-28) defeating the Boston Celtics on the road, the Lakers (36-28), Mavericks and Trail Blazers are all tied for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lakers host the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

With the win, Toronto (27-38) is 2 1/2 games behind the Washington Wizards for the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference and a chance to get into the play-in game for the postseason tournament.

The Lakers led 38-32 after the first quarter, but the undermanned Raptors rallied in the second quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 23-6 over the final six minutes of the second quarter to take a 13-point lead at halftime.

Toronto’s 72 points are the second-most the Lakers have given up all season in a half. Los Angeles had led by as many as 12 points in the first half.

The Raptors continued to pour it on, extending their lead to 21 points early in the third quarter. The Lakers cut Toronto’s lead to six points late in the fourth quarter, but would get no closer.

–Field Level Media

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