D’Angelo Russell returned from a six-game absence to score 28 points and Dennis Schroder added 23 as the Los Angeles Lakers continued to find success without LeBron James, earning a 122-112 victory Friday (Saturday, March 11, Manila time) over the visiting Toronto Raptors.
Austin Reaves scored 18 points while Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura added 16 each as Los Angeles improved to 4-2 since James went down with a foot tendon injury. The Lakers have won seven of their past nine games overall to move into a play-in tournament spot in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles won despite getting just eight points and nine rebounds from Anthony Davis, who had averaged 33 points with 13.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over his previous five games. Davis sealed the victory on a 21-foot step-back jumper with 46.6 seconds remaining for a 122-110 lead.
Scottie Barnes scored 32 points and O.G. Anunoby had 31 as the Raptors ended a five-game road trip with a 1-4 record. Toronto will play seven of its next eight games at home as it clings to an Eastern Conference play-in tournament spot.
Jakob Poeltl scored 17 points with 10 rebounds and Fred VanVleet added 10 assists as Toronto lost its third consecutive game, the team’s longest losing streak since dropping three in a row from Jan. 17-21.
The Raptors appeared to take control when they outscored the Lakers 28-15 in the third quarter to turn an eight-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead at 90-85. Los Angeles’ 15-point third quarter came after they scored 70 points in the first half.
But the Lakers found their first-half form early in the fourth quarter. An 8-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Schroder, gave the Lakers the lead again at 93-92 with 9:35 remaining.
After the teams traded the lead, the Lakers went on a 12-2 run that Schroder started with a jumper and Russell capped with a 3-pointer for a 107-98 lead with 6:35 remaining. Russell was making his return from an ankle injury. – Rappler.com
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