After rattling off seven straight wins, the Los Angeles Lakers finally lost their second game of the season, falling to 7-2 so far. Despite leading for the majority of the game, the defending champion Toronto Raptors rallied late in the fourth quarter and overtook the Lakers down the stretch, winning 113-104.
Now let’s get into the good, the bad, and the ugly from tonight’s unfortunate loss.
The Good From the Lakers’ Loss to the Raptors
Anthony Davis continued his stellar start to the season with another big 27 point outing, leading the way for the lakers. Going 10-20 from the field including 2-5 from deep, Davis seems to be getting much more comfortable shooting the ball after his early-season struggles. When Davis is able to consistently knock down shots from midrange and deep, it becomes nearly impossible to contain him. While they didn’t get the win tonight, they won’t lose many more games on nights when Davis is consistently knocking down his looks.
LeBron James, Kind of?
While it is impossible to put James in either the “bad” or “ugly” category when posting a triple-double, the outing was far from James’ best work this season. Only chipping in 13 points on 5-15 shooting, James’ strong rebounding and facilitating numbers weren’t enough to put the Lakers over the top. While he still put up a 13/15/13 stat line, the Lakers need better scoring efforts from James moving forward.
The Bad From the Lakers’ Loss to the Raptors
Danny Green is an exceedingly consistent shooter who won’t have too many off nights. Unfortunately, tonight happened to be one of the rare few. Green was 0-5 from the field including 0-4 from deep. While he played solid defense (as always) he disappeared in the fourth quarter – missing his only shot with the game already out of reach. As a spot-up shooter, that isn’t necessarily on Green as much as his teammates for not getting him in an ideal position to score. That said, the Lakers will need (and will get) better nights from Green in order to win.
The Ugly From the Lakers’ Loss to the Raptors
The Fouth Quarter Defense
Despite not falling into an early hole and heading into the fourth quarter tied, the Lakers were unable to withstand a late run from the Toronto Raptors. Backup forward Chris Boucher gouged the Lakers single-handedly for a huge run early in the quarter before Pascal Siakam closed the door.
The defense was atrocious, allowing the Raptors to outscore the Lakers 35-26 and essentially score at will.
The Third Quarter Offense
While the defense in the fourth quarter was gross, the offense in the third quarter was almost equally as bad. The Lakers only scored 18 points and gave up a nine-point halftime lead. Despite doing a good job of holding onto the ball, the Lakers weren’t too efficient and the Raptors made them pay. Only scoring eight fastbreak points across the entire night, the Raptors did a good job of not letting the Lakers get out and run – essentially setting a blueprint for how other teams to attack them defensively. While they turned things around a bit in the fourth quarter offensively, they desperately need another playmaking option to help create easy looks when the game starts to slow down.