The Toronto Raptors produced one of their best performances of the season under the bright lights of the STAPLES Center, with a 121-114 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam delivered the hammer blow, combining for 76 points as the Raptors picked up their first road win since April 10 in Cleveland.
The Raptors are now 11-1 vs. the Lakers over last six seasons - the best record against the Lakers in the league.
If you missed any of the action, we have you covered with some thoughts below.
1. Raptors undermanned again
The Raptors put an end to their three-game losing streak, despite being without Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher and Gary Trent Jr.
VanVleet was rested for injury management on his hip, while Anunoby (calf), Boucher (left knee sprain), and Trent Jr. (left leg contusion) remain on the injury list.
Down four starters for this game, the Raptors have now used 30 different starting lineups in 65 games.
2. Lowry and Siakam show out
76 points, 15 rebounds, 15 assists and 12 3-pointers!!!
The Kyle Lowry x Pascal Siakam one-two punch was firing on all cylinders as the Raptors duo unleashed an offensive performance for the ages, both recording season-highs in points.
Lowry had 39 points and 11 assists on 12-of-20 from the field and 8-of-13 from beyond the arc, while Siakam finished with 39 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists on 15-of-26 from the field and 4-of-8 from the 3-point line.
They added a little bit of history on the night, becoming just the second Raptors duo in franchise history to both score 35+ points in the same game, joining Mo Peterson and Mike James who did so in 2006.
Going up against the Lakers huge frontline of Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell, Siakam stepped away from the basket, knocking down four 3s and eight jumpers from mid-range, a welcome sight for Raptor fans.
Meanwhile, Lowry was in heat check mode all night, with his eight 3-pointers a career-high.
DR. LOWRY pic.twitter.com/bsjXCqn9xT- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 3, 2021
"He was incredible tonight, just controlling the game and playing one position," Pascal Siakam said of Lowry. "Obviously when he's rolling and we're making shots and all that it makes it easier for us too."
3. Raptors win on back-to-back
On the second night of a back-to-back, against the defending champs, minus four key starters, the Raptors made no excuses as they brought the fight to the Lakers.
Tonight marked just their third win from 15 games this season on the second night of a back-to-back, making the effort all the more impressive.
4. Bench comes alive
The Raptors' second unit has struggled of late, being outscored by 62 points (118-56) over the last three games, but tonight they flipped the script.
With starters Khem Birch only scoring four points and Stanley Johnson and Malachi Flynn going scoreless, the Raptors bench produced, combining for 41 points in the win, keeping them in control during key stretches.
DeAndre' Bembry had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Freddie Gillespie added 11 points and seven rebounds. Rodney Hood added seven points and Yuta Watanabe six.
5. A scorching second quarter
The Raptors trailed 38-32 after the first quarter, the Raptors completely shifted the momentum of the game before half-time, outscoring the Lakers 40-21, including a 23-6 run to close the quarter
Lowry had 13 of his 37 in the second quarter, including this full-court fastbreak to cap off the half.
Tell 'em, @Klow7 🤫 pic.twitter.com/Iva9Qpjmsg- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 3, 2021
The big difference in the second was their aggressiveness attacking the rim as they went 13-of-18 at the free-throw line, compared to the Lakers (2-of-5).
Rodney Hood led them with four makes, while Lowry and Bembry made three apiece.
6. LeBron exits game, Play-In spot looms
In just his second back after a 20-game absence, LeBron James exited tonight's game due to right ankle soreness.
James left the game with 6:42 remaining in the fourth with the Lakers down 16, cautious of the same ankle that kept him out for over a month.
He finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, adding five turnovers in 28 minutes, while Anthony Davis had a quiet night, scoring 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting, Kyle Kuzma was the leading man for the Lakers with 24 points off the bench.
The Lakers (36-28) have now lost six of their past seven games and sit in the sixth seed, tied for the same record as the fifth-seed Dallas Mavericks and the seventh-seed Portland Trail Blazers, who they will face on May 7.
They face a tough stretch of games coming up, taking on the Nuggets, Clippers, Blazers, Suns, Knicks in their next five, facing the real possibility of falling into the Play-In seeds.
7. Raptors playoff picture
The Raptors' playoff hopes remain alive following tonight's win as they move to a 27-38 record this season, putting them 2.5 games back of the Washington Wizards for the final Play-In seed in the Eastern Conference.
They host the Wizards on Thursday, May 6, but already own the tiebreaker after winning their first two meetings this season.
8. What's next?
The Lakers will suit up in less than 24 hours as they host the red-hot Denver Nuggets, while the Raptors will have a day off in Los Angeles before taking on the Clippers on Tuesday to wrap their four-game West Coast road trip.
See you then!
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