On Saturday, the Toronto Raptors opened their seeding games in Orlando with a big-time win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kyle Lowry stole the show with 33 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, but it once again took a team effort to get it done. OG Anunoby was Toronto's second-leading scorer in the game with 23 points, Pascal Siakam made some big plays in the clutch and Fred VanVleet recorded a 13-point, 11-assist double-double. The Raptors were able to make life difficult for LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the other end of the court, limiting the All-Star duo to 34 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists on 9-for-22 shooting from the field.
After the game, James had the following to say about the Raptors.
"I think it's a great team. They won a championship for a reason. It wasn't just all solely because of Kawhi [Leonard] and obviously you see that. They've got the two-headed monsters in Fred [VanVleet] and Kyle [Lowry] that set the tone. Their wings are extremely good in Pascal [Siakam] and OG [Anunoby]. They've got experience in the frontcourt at the centre position in Marc [Gasol] and Serge [Ibaka] and then they've got a bunch of complementary guys. That's why they've been the team they've been all year."
Lakers' LeBron James on the Raptors: "That's a great team. They won the championship for a reason. It wasn't all solely because of Kawhi [Leonard]." pic.twitter.com/HCrB7QkrXu- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 2, 2020
According to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, James went on to say that, "The media may not give them as much credit because Kawhi is gone, but players know what type of team they are."
Saturday's victory marked the second time the Raptors have defeated the Lakers this season, their first coming in Los Angeles when they were down two key players in Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
With the win, the Raptors improve to 47-18 on the season, giving them a four game cushion on the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Lakers would've locked up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a win, but they still lead the LA Clippers by 5.5 games with six games to go.
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