Kawhi Leonard’s 25 points and Norman Powell’s 20 points powered Toronto Raptors to a famous victory against the Los Angeles Lakers 111-98 on Thursday night.
LeBron James scored 29 points and Alex Caruso had a career-high 16 for Los Angeles but the struggling Lakers lost for the sixth time in seven games, further denting their fading playoff hopes.
Earlier this month, after consulting with James' personal trainer, the Lakers said James would play limited minutes the rest of the season and might sit out one of any back-to-back games.
James played 32 minutes Thursday and has not played more than 33 in any of the past four games. His status for Friday's game at Detroit is not known.
Pascal Siakam scored 16 points and Marc Gasol added 15 to help Toronto win its ninth consecutive meeting with the Lakers, extending a franchise record. The Raptors have not lost to the Lakers since Nov. 30, 2014. They also set a franchise record with their 20th victory of the season against a Western Conference opponent.
Rajon Rondo scored 13 points but the Lakers failed to win back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 15 and 17, when they beat Chicago and won at Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles overturned a 20-point deficit to win at Chicago on Tuesday night, snapping a five-game losing streak. The Lakers kept it close through three quarters against Toronto, the Atlantic Division leader, but couldn't hang on in the fourth as the Raptors started the quarter with a 13-4 spurt.
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma shot 3 for 11 and scored seven points. He missed all three of his attempts from long range. Kuzma got an earful from his coach after he failed to defend a 3 by Toronto's Danny Green in the third quarter.
Toronto guard Malcolm Miller, who played 24 minutes in a G-League game earlier Thursday, made two 3-pointers in the fourth.
The Raptors were without guard Kyle Lowry, who sat because of a sore left ankle, and forward Serge Ibaka, who began serving a three-game suspension for throwing a punch at Cleveland's Marquese Chriss on Monday night.
The Raptors were up 65-54 at halftime and took a 90-84 lead into the fourth.
About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller