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Lakers News: Finding The Good In A Bad Raptors Loss

Sifting through the wreckage of a 126-113 defeat.

Your woefully-shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers had fitfully solid moments tonight at Scotiabank Arena, but ultimately couldn't consistently contain the Toronto Raptors en route to a 126-113 loss on the second night of a back-to-back. The defeat drops the team to a 10-14 record on the season, though these last two losses have been, for the most part, free of L.A.'s best player, Anthony Davis, who exited last night's Cavaliers loss in the first half with flu-like symptoms.

AD's fellow All-Star, starting power forward LeBron James, plus rotation role players Patrick Beverley and Wenyen Gabriel, were all out for Los Angeles.

Toronto announced itself early by going on an emphatic 11-0 run to open up the first quarter. Darvin Ham responded by subbing in reserve Russell Westbrook, handily the Lakers' best available player, much earlier than usual -- after the game's opening two minutes.

With Davis and Gabriel gone, deep-bench center Damian Jones saw some first-quarter action, and did what he could to capitalize:

Though Los Angeles did manage to keep things close for much of the first frame after that opening Raptors burst, it was clear that they were going to be hard to contain for long:

Thanks to a collective effort spearheaded by Russell Westbrook's eight points and two dimes, L.A. rallied back, after falling behind by double digits early, to keep things at a respectable margin at the end of the frame. The Raptors led 39-31.

Sadly, the second quarter proved to be a different story.

On the plus side, the springy Jones made a case for possible rotation minutes even when Gabriel returns, showing off his athleticism and verticality throughout the contest. Perhaps the most picturesque DJ moment came on this insane block of an attempted O.G. Anunoby floater in the lane:

Things got much grizzlier in the ensuing minutes. The Raptors went on a 16-0 tear in the middle of the second frame, eventually finishing the half up big over Los Angeles, 70-47, having outscored the Lakers 31-16 overall in the period.

Things never really got particularly close ever again. The Raptors continued to keep the Lakers at bay in the third quarter, and would head into the fourth period up 97-75.

In the closing fourth quarter, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam showed up in a big way to close out the Lake Show.

The Lakers can't seem to catch a health break: forward Juan Toscano-Anderson, who started the game at power forward with James and Gabriel sitting, sprained his right ankle in the second half. Mike Trudell of reports that the ankle will undergo further testing.

The Raptors' beatdown included advantages in a variety of categories. Toronto led L.A. by double digits in rebounds (63-53) and assists (25-15), and had significant edges in steals (10-6) and points scored in the paint (58-52).

Dennis Schroder, who got the starting nod at point guard, led the Lakers with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting, along with five rebounds and three assists. Russell Westbrook chipped in an inefficient 16 points, along with nine rebounds, three assists and a steal. Thomas Bryant also poured in 16 points, starting at center in the stead of Davis. Kendrick Nunn (15 points), Damian Jones (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Austin Reaves (10) were the other Lakers to score in double figures.