Ryan Kelly had 17 points and 5 rebounds against the Toronto Raptors Sunday. (Facebook/LA Lakers)
Live by the three, die by the three.
Luckily for the Los Angeles Lakers, they lived. Nick “SwaggyP” Young returned, following his one game suspension, to lead the Lakers to a 112-106 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Young was efficient off the bench and led all scorers with 29 points. Young had the magic touch from behind the arc making five of his seven attempts. He also had crucial fouls called that led to easy points.
The Lakers did a much better job of not leaving points off the board as they sank in 26 free throws. The team shot 92.9 percent from the free throw line, including Young who was 10-11.
Fortunately, Young wasn’t the only one with the hot hand. The Lakers were 12-22 from behind the arc (54.5 percent) and shot 46.3 percent from the field.
The Lakers succeeded in bringing to life a two-game winning streak. The last time the Lakers pieced together two consecutive wins was back in Dec. 20, 2013.
The win didn’t come easy as the Lakers trailed by as many as 19 points. Second half struggles continued for L.A. as they were outscored 12-0 to begin the second half. Fortunately, the Lakers were able to stop the bleeding.
L.A. made up for a slow start by outscoring the Raptors 26-8 to end the third quarter and regained the lead. Spurts of energy helped the Lakers prevent the game from get away from them.
The biggest improvement for the Lakers was their ability to limit turnovers and points off of fast breaks. Lakers’ rookie Ryan Kelly earned his first start of the year following a strong performance versus Boston. Despite a 10:00 a.m. tip-off Kelly finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals.
There was one glaring stat. Rebounds.
The Lakers were outrebounded 47-31, and only one Laker had more than five rebounds. Pau Gasol fell one rebound short of a double-double, finishing with 22 points and nine boards.
Six players ended in double figures for the Raptors, who were led by DeMar DeRozan with 23 points. Still the Lakers spurts of defense was enough to fend them off.
Two consecutive wins are a good start, but the Lakers are far from being out of the woods.
They currently hold the 12th seed in the West and still have four road games remaining on this Grammy Road Trip. L.A. will face off against the Chicago Bulls tomorrow, and look to continue to build on the momentum.