HISTORY just keeps repeating itself almost every time the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Raptors duel in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
It happened again on Sunday (PH time) when the Raptors defeated the Lakers at the Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the NBA’s third playing day.
With Kyle Lowry firing a game-high 33 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds, Toronto beat Los Angeles 107-92 for the Lakers’ 1-1 start after slumping to a season-low 35.4 percent field-goal shooting.
It was Toronto’s 11th straight win over Los Angeles as the Raptors haven’t lost to the Lakers since the 2014-2015 season.
And, kind of amazingly, Toronto did it minus Kawhi Leonard, the team’s undisputed chief cog when the Raptors won their first NBA title last year.
Leonard showed his old self on Friday but he fell short trying to give the Clippers, his new team, a win over the Lakers as Los Angeles stole a 103-101 squeaker behind LeBron James’ follow-up of his own miss in the NBA restart’s opener.
Toronto’s win over the Lakers sort of established the team new leader in Lowry, who found a new strong backup in OG Anunoby, who scored 23 points.
Lowry banged Toronto’s biggest basket—a three from the wing—for the Raptors’ impregnable 97-86 lead with 3:01 to play.
“He was vintage Kyle tonight,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “He was scoring and flying around and taking charges and competing and getting us some critical buckets. He was great.”
The resident coach of the house said to me, curtly: “Nurse outcoached Vogel (Frank) today.”
Indeed, yes, but then, Nurse was merely maintaining tradition as Los Angeles hasn’t beaten Toronto since winning 129-122 in overtime at LA’s Staples Center on Nov. 30, 2014.
Even James’ second double-double in a row (20 points and 10 rebounds) was of no meaning as the Lakers felt the pinch of Anthony Davis’ puny 14 points after he scored 34 in that win against the Clippers.
The Lakers lost their triple touch, too, missing 30 of their 40 threes.
“We just have to knock them down if we want to win,” said James.