The Toronto Raptors, certainly not a bad team coming into Sunday’s STAPLES Center matchup with the Lakers at 8-7, simply had no chance to win on this night. L.A. was just too good.
Trailing by 10 at the half, even six third quarter triples couldn’t get the visitors within eight at any point of the second half, and both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol watched the fourth quarter in amusement after combining for 47 points in the first three.
The Lakers destroyed the smaller Raptors 54-36 on the glass, shot 51 percent from the field and got another 18 and 10 performance from Andrew Bynum to take the NBA’s best record to 13-1.
Toronto’s Chris Bosh, who came into the game third in the league in scoring (27.7) and fifth in rebounding (10.5) couldn’t get it going against L.A.’s two seven footers, finishing with only 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting with six rebounds. After the game, Bryant suggested that part of Bosh’s struggles were due in part to the rhythm of a game in while the Raptors almost always trailed by double-digits and needed to huck up a plethora of threes. Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell blamed the boards.
“I thought our guys were boxing out buy guys like Gasol and Bynum are just strong and were reaching over us, and we just couldn’t come up with that key basket or that key stop when we needed it,” he said.
I’ll be sure to stick L.A.’s board advantage, 18, into the numbers:
Point plateau Kobe Bryant was on the way towards after he scored 21 first half points, but he played only 10 minutes in the second half (none in the fourth quarter) and opted to pass the rock, giving him a season-high seven assists. Basically, Bryant was taking advantage of L.A.’s size advantage on the block, and after the game told reporters he had no idea he would have been the youngest player to 22,000 ever had he scored 15 more points to surpass Wilt Chamberlain. “I don’t care about that stuff,” Bryant explained.
Points in the paint for the Lakers compared to just 32 for Toronto, a solid indicator of how the game went. Pau Gasol finished with 24 points on 10-of-17, and Andrew Bynum 28 points on 8-of-13.
Second-chance points converted by L.A., thanks to 15 offensive boards, five of which came from Bynum. The Raptors managed just 10 second-chance points with 11 offensive rebounds.
Three pointers attempted by the Raptors, of which they made 11 (44 percent), including four from Anthony Parker. The Lakers made just 4-of-18 triples, with four players hitting one each.
Turnovers by the Lakers, 14 of which came in the second half when the game was already decided. Jordan Farmar had five alone, but none of them really mattered.
You know this one already.
OK, for those of you who skipped the intro, L.A. grabbed 54 boards to 36 for the Raptors, an 18-rebound difference.
Assists and rebounds from Sasha Vujacic in 18:11 of burn, including a gorgeous lob that was eaten alive by Bynum.
Swats for D.J. Mbenga in just 3:04 of action.