Call me your full-service Raptors blogger today. I did the game thread, the liveblog, and now I’m posting this mini-recap. I’m going to make this short, though, because I’ll be doing the standard video breakdown tomorrow.
With Andrea Bargnani and Sonny Weems sitting out with injuries, the Raptors fared about as well as could be expected against a bigger, more talented Lakers squad. The Lakers used their size advantage to outrebound the Raptors 46-35 and their 31-21 advantage on made free throws made up the final scoring difference. It doesn’t get much more fundamental than beating your opponent on the boards and at the free throw line, and that’s exactly how the Lakers won this game.
When Matt Barnes plays the same number of minutes as Kobe Bryant (28 minutes of playing time each), that’s probably a sign that the Lakers don’t take a particular opponent very seriously. The Raptors made it interesting when they took a 34-28 lead after the first quarter as Amir Johnson scored 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting, but Amir appeared to tweak his lower back near the end of the quarter and he was rendered mostly ineffective for the rest of the game. Linas Kleiza led both teams and tied his season-high with 26 points and DeMar DeRozan impressed by scoring 23 points and going 11-for-11 from the free throw line. But when the Lakers started to assert themselves in the second quarter, it was pretty clear how this game was going to turn out.
There’s no shame in losing to the two-time defending champs by 10 points when you’re missing two of your starters. And when you consider that Ed Davis was held scoreless subbing in for the injured Bargnani, I have to wonder if this might have been more of a contest if Andrea was able to play.
Raptors Player of the Game: Jose Calderon — 36 Min, 20 Pts, 8-14 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2FT, 3 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl
Lakers Player of the Game: Pau Gasol — 30 Min, 19 Pts, 9-15 FG, 1-2 FT, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl
Goat of the Game: Ed Davis — 17 Min, 0 Pts, 0-3 FG, 3 Reb