We have an enticing NBA contest upcoming between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers played their first game of the resumed season Thursday, and they beat the Clippers in a match that came down to the wire. Meanwhile, the defending NBA champion Toronto looks to pick up where they left off as they were riding a four game winning streak before the break. Tip off is scheduled for approximately 7:30 PM ET from the NBA bubble site for this contest.
Lakers Survive Showdown With ClippersThe return of the NBA certainly didn't disappoint in terms of action, and the Lakers/Clippers contest reminded us of the fun we had been missing. The Lakers held a 12 point lead at the end of the first quarter before the Clippers dominated the second quarter 29-19 to bring the game back to a two point Lakers lead at halftime. Neither team could separate themselves during the entire second half, and the Lakers used a LeBron James tip-in which served as the go-ahead bucket for the win.
Anthony Davis was the driving force behind the win last game for the Lakers. Davis finished the contest with 34 points and eight rebounds, and he looked like he hasn't missed a beat. James was solid as well with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Los Angeles is one of the teams that isn't missing much from their rotation during this restart. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley is the only key player that is missing, and his role can be filled by Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the Lakers added J.R. Smith as well.
Raptors Ready For Return To The CourtWhile I'm on the subject of teams who aren't missing much, Toronto will roll out their full roster for their return to NBA action. It does appear as though they will be without backup small forward Patrick McCaw as he's been downgraded to doubtful with left knee soreness, but this is not a player that the Raptors will miss in rotation. We do have to wonder how much effort that Toronto will put into this match though as they are locked in to a playoff spot already.
Power forward Pascal Siakam was leading the Raptors in scoring before the season delay. He was averaging 23.6 points per game with 7.5 rebounds per game, and he will need a big game today to counteract Davis from the Lakers. Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Normal Powell, Serge Ibaka and OG Anunoby were all averaging at least 10.7 points per game as well before the break, and Toronto will look to resume their dominance as their offense should still be just as potent.
Stats & Trends
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I am on the Lakers for this match. The Raptors have played in exhibition, but they have yet to play a "competitive" game. Meanwhile, Los Angeles took on a tall task with the Clippers in their first game back, and they survived with a two point win. Anthony Davis was virtually unstoppable in that contest and although Toronto does have Siakam to counteract, I don't expect Siakam to be able to do much defensively. I have a feeling that the Raptors will not be dying to win this contest either since they are locked into a playoff spot comfortably, so they may look to give their reserves more minutes and ease their starters back into the swing of things. I expect the Lakers to take care of business and cover this spread Saturday night.