LA Lakers vs Toronto Raptors preview: Raptors look to extend winning streak

The LA Lakers opened a four-game trip with a 124-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Frank Vogel and LeBron James in a file photo, Image credit: Twitter/LakersNation
By Amruth Kalidas | Mar 18, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Toronto Raptors will try to extend their five-game winning streak and improve their playoff position when they return home for a rematch with the LA Lakers Friday night. The Raptors completed a six-game road trip Wednesday with a 103-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. That completed a Los Angeles sweep following a 114-103 wire-to-wire win over the stumbling Lakers on Monday.

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The Raptors have the same record (39-30) as the sixth-place Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference and play nine of their final 13 regular-season games at home. The Cavaliers and Raptors are two games behind the Chicago Bulls, though Cleveland holds the tiebreaker over Toronto.

Pascal Siakam had 31 points and 12 rebounds Wednesday for Toronto and has scored at least 20 points in a career-best eight consecutive games.

The Lakers opened a four-game trip with a 124-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. It was the third straight loss for the Lakers, who have dropped their past 11 away games and are 9-23 for the season on the road. They shot 41.9 percent (39 of 93) from the field, including 22.2 percent (10 of 45) from 3-point range and trailed by as many as 25 points in the first half.

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Minnesota led 31-17 after the first quarter in which Los Angeles shot 28.6 percent (6 of 21) from the field, including 0 of 10 in 3-point attempts.

“At the end of the day, you keep pushing forward,” said LeBron James, who scored 19 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field. “I am very comfortable with being uncomfortable so, it doesn’t bother me too much. Obviously, I am a competitor, I want to win. You definitely get frustrated with some things that happen on the floor, but you control what you can control. What you can’t control, you don’t worry about it.”

Carmelo Anthony added 16 points for the Lakers off the bench and Russell Westbrook had 15.

The Raptors’ road trip was impressive. They dropped the opener at Cleveland, then defeated the San Antonio Spurs, the league-leading Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets before their wins in Los Angeles.