The Raptors prevailed 113-104 over the Lakers at Staples Center despite missing All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry (fractured thumb) and veteran forward Serge Ibaka (ankle sprain). Toronto's victory snapped the Lakers' seven-game winning streak, handing L.A. its first loss since the regular-season opener on Oct. 22.
Lowry's and Ibaka's injuries were suffered during Toronto's win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The team announced that Lowry will be re-evaluated in two weeks, while Ibaka is out indefinitely.
Sunday night was Toronto's first game without its two stars.
The Lakers led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but Toronto collectively fought back. Six Raptors scored in double digits—three starters and three reserves—led by double-doubles from Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.
G Fred VanVleet: 23 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals
F Pascal Siakam: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks
G Norman Powell: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
F Chris Boucher: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks
F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
SG Terence Davis: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
SF LeBron James: 13 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, 1 block
PF Anthony Davis: 27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks
F Kyle Kuzma: 15 points, 5 rebounds
G Troy Daniels: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block
C JaVale McGee: 10 points, 4 rebounds
Raptors Depth Shines in First Game Without Lowry, Ibaka
Prior to Sunday's contest, the Raptors' first since Lowry and Ibaka went down with injuries, head coach Nick Nurse unknowingly foreshowed how things would unfold for his team against the Lakers:
Toronto's bench finished with 43 points, only slightly outscored by L.A.'s 45 bench points. That margin is actually a win for the Raptors because their reserves were outscored 29-13 in the first half.
"Next man up," TSN's Josh Lewenberg wrote earlier Sunday. "It's been their mantra and one of the biggest reasons for their sustained success over the last half decade. Regardless of who's come out of the game, went down with an injury, gotten traded or left in free agency, they've always been able to rely on the next player in line."
VanVleet, who leads the Raptors in minutes per game at 37.4, led a trio of undrafted Raptors that collectively hung a 50-burger on L.A., the second-best defense in the league, per NBA.com:
The Raptors will be similarly tested at the Los Angeles Clippers (Monday), Portland Trail Blazers (Wednesday) and Dallas Mavericks (Saturday) for the remainder of this road trip.
LeBron James Continues Putting League on Notice With Another Triple-Double
James notched his fourth triple-double in five games against the Raptors on Sunday night, but it won't mean anything to him because it came in a losing effort.
"It comes with team success for me," James told reporters after he recorded his third straight triple-double against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. "A triple-double means absolutely nothing to me if it's not in a win."
The Lakers were beat by a tough, resilient Raptors squad. That won't, especially this early in the season, discredit the dominant seven-game winning streak they pieced together behind James' production before Sunday.
The problem for L.A. came when James and Anthony Davis combined for 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Toronto outscored the Lakers 35-26 in the frame.
James, so long as he remains healthy, will continue to generate offense. The Lakers need to worry more about their depth, which was exploited by the Raptors.
The Raptors will stay in L.A. and take on the Clippers on Monday night.
The Lakers will travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Tuesday night.