11/5/10

Good Effort But Mistakes Cost Raps In L.A

Let's be honest this was not going to be easy. Raptors have only won twice in their history vs Lakers in L.A. Coming off their worst effort of the season vs Utah this had the makings of being an ugly night. But that is why they play the games as they say.

Lakers were best team in league at making 3's coming into this one but miss a couple to start and Jack and DeRozan get buckets for an early Raps 4-0 lead. Kleiza would get back to back scores and Raps would hold a lead at 8-4. Kobe had a basket and a foul so far. Derek Fisher made a couple at the line then a steal and score in transition and the game was tied at 10. DeRozan and Bryant traded buckets. Kinda of a sloppy start by both teams but the Lakers take the lead 16-12 then a steal and score for Fisher and Raptors making turnovers, 6 of them and Lakers were cashing in on them. Kleiza a corner 3 that is a air ball that ends up with Reggie Evans. Kobe comes along and takes it from Reggie the touchdown pass to Gasol for 2 and Lakers had an 8 point advantage after a slow start for them. DeRozan grew up a Kobe fan but not letting that stop him from taking it at his idol. Nice drive and score by Double D. Bargnani finally got a bucket with under 2 to play. Kobe then found a wide open Blake for 3....nailed it. A steal and Lakers score and much like you might have expected Lakers lead 27-18. Another 3 from Blake would make it 30-18. He was not done another 3 his 3rd of the quarter and Lakers lead 33-20 after 1.


8 turnovers in the first quarter for the Raptors. Forget beating the Lakers, you are not going beat anyone doing that. Andrea a drive and he meets Laker off season pick up Theo Ratliff with the big swat. Barbosa a score then on next trip the feed to Weems for the slam and 1. Weems made the free throw and Raps cut it to 8 with score 35-27. Brown and Calderon trade buckets then another dagger 3 from Blake...40-29. Weems with a dunk that might score a 9 but is only worth 2. Raptors were getting out gunned and not playing any kind of defence at all. A recipe for disaster. Raptors just not looking good. Amir rebounded fellow Young Onez miss in DeRozan and scores. A Laker score then a Barbosa 3 and at least the Raptors are hanging around down 8. Bad pass intended for DeRozan got picked but Raps were fortunate as Lakers could not score. Raps do score on next trip and get the lead to 6. Gasol with a pretty spin move scores and Andersen answers on the other end. Kobe teaches Demar a little something something taking him to school drawing the foul.

Jose a jumper from the top of the key out of a time out and the Laker lead was just 6 with just over 3 to play in the half. We have a Julian Wright sighting and he hooks up Barbosa for 3 Raps get another score and the lead was just 1. Raptors would draw even on a Calderon jumper with the score even at 55. Amir a block on Gasol and it leads to a Barbosa 3 and believe it or not the Raptors have a 58-55 halftime lead. Barbosa was the spark to the Raptor surge and had 15 going into the half.

You have to imagine the Lakers are not amused and this first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter should tell a lot about Raptors chances in this one. Klezia a spin drive and score a good start anyway. Cue Mr Bryant a couple of free throws and makes a jumper Raptors lead down to 60-59. An Artest 3 ball and Lakers had the lead. But Jack for 2 and Bargnani 3 and Raptors restored their 3 point halftime lead. The Lakers would fight back and tie on a nice dunk by Gasol. Kobe with a couple of free throws reversed the lead on the Raps leading 70-67. Raptors did not hold the lad but still in it after that first 5 minutes. A beautiful spin and score by DeRozan leaving Kobe behind for the easy layup. Raptors were down 1 over halfway through the 3rd. Raptors after the 8 turnovers in the 1st have cleaned that up. More DeRozan as the L.A kid was getting it done then Bargnani scores and Raps restore the 3 point lead at 75-72. Raps were doing a great job on the glass as well helping them hang in this one.

DeRozan got called for a charge on a 2-1 that would have given the Raps a 4 point lead with under 3 to play in the 3rd. Shannon Brown with a big 3 pointer late in the 3rd and Lakers back on top 80-78. An open 3 for Blake was missed and that would have hurt. Some slippage late in the quarter as Lakers built a 4 point advantage and a Bargnani 3 would not fall.

Shannon Brown hit a jumper from the top of the key and Lakers have largest lead in awhile 84-78. Amir Johnson was having his best game of year so far. No fouls and he draws a foul and got to the line and made 2. But just when I say that, Barnes scores on the glass and Amir gets called for one of those questionable techs we have been seeing in the NBA this year. The Gasol a pretty move and Score and Raptors were down 9 and a time out is called.

Out of time out a crazy jumper falls for Barbosa. Amir Johnson gets a bucket and Raptors creep back to with in 5. Johnson a nice play and gets a call as he takes it on the numbers and Barnes called for the charge. Calderon on the next possession makes a jumper and the lead is back to 4. Amir Johnson had a chance to put back a Jose miss but could not and that would have cut the lead to just 2. Instead Lakers get a 3 and lead is 7 and Kobe checks in....Oh Oh. But Amir gets the bucket and cuts the lead to 5. A steal and Calderon scoring on the break and the lead down to 3. Phil Jackson rarely calls a time out but wants one here.

Odom a turnover and Demar a bit out of control and Fisher knocks it out off Demar for back to back turnovers. Kobe draws a foul and makes a pair and Lakers lead was 97-92. Bargnani the drive and score and Raptors back to down 3. Kobe the miss but Gasol the rebound and score on the putback. Bargs takes a tough shot and missed it. Raps get a steal though and both Bargnani and DeRozan miss and that was costly. Fisher the basket and with 2:40 to play Lakers lead it 101-94. Raptors not looking like they are going to come out on top but they are making the Lakers earn this W. Coming in at 5-0 you get the feeling the Lakers thought this might have been an easy one. After the loss against Utah I would have agreed with them. Barbosa a 3 out of time out missed it but Amir draws a foul and heads to the line. Makes them then a Lakers turnover but Barbosa is stripped and losses the ball and turns it over right back. Another Lakers steal and Fisher head mans the ball to Kobe who is fouled and that should end all hope. Raps kept swinging but time was not on their side. Even a late steal forcing Kobe to make a nice block on Kleiza after having it stolen. Even to the final tick Raps had fight a Jack heave for 3 fell but the Raptors were down 8 so it was not enough...108-103 the Lakers take it.

Despite the effort with 21 turnovers it is hard to beat anyone. The positives for the Raps we saw Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson both had their best games of the season. The tough part for the Raptors is they have to play Portland tomorrow and they expended a lot of energy in a losing effort. Will be very interesting to see how they handle it. After getting destroyed by Utah they did respond and that is something to feel good about. But despite a lot of positives and moral victories the Raptors are 0-3 on this trip and 1-4 on the season.



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