Lakers fall to Raptors as playoff hopes fade
MANILA, Philippines – The Toronto Raptors added to the Los Angeles Lakers’ woes.
Kawhi Leonard pumped in 25 points as the Raptors drubbed the Lakers, 111-98, to complete a season sweep in NBA action on Thursday, March 14 (Friday, March 15, Manila time).
As the Raptors kept hold of the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference at 49-20, Lebron James and the Lakers dropped sixth of their last 7 games for a 31-37 record in the West side.
The loss further dampened the Lakers’ playoff hopes as they remained 3 rungs down – and 8 wins behind – the LA Clippers, who hold the 8th and last spot with a 39-30 slate.
Just— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 15, 2019
Norman Powell also scored 20 for the Raptors, who extended a franchise win record over the Lakers with 9 straight victories since 2014.
The Raptors played minus guard Kyle Lowry, who sat out due to a sore left ankle, and forward Serge Ibaka, who served the first of his three-game suspension for figuring in a brawl with Cleveland's Marquese Chriss last Monday.
Pascal Siakam also shot 16 points and Marc Gasol added 15 for the Raptors.
James paced the Lakers with 29 points and Alex Caruso had a career-high 16 points.
The Lakers failed to follow up on a huge win in Chicago where they rallied from 20 points down to stun the Bulls and snap a five-game losing skid.
Although the Lakers managed to keep up with the Raptors in the first 3 quarters, the Raptors pulled away in the final period by outscoring them, 21-14.