James, Davis Get Late Breathers as Lakers Cruise Past Skidding Raptors

James, Davis Get Late Breathers as Lakers Cruise Past Skidding Raptors

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tries to elude Kelly Olynyk of the Toronto Raptors during an NBA game in Toronto on April 2, 2024. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

4/2/2024

Updated: 4/3/2024

TORONTO—LeBron James scored 23 points, Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 128–111 on Tuesday night, April 2, for their seventh win in the past eight games.
D’Angelo Russell shot seven for 14 from 3-point range and scored 25 points, Rui Hachimura had 14, and Max Christie 12 as the Lakers handed slumping Toronto its 14th straight loss.
The NBA’s career scoring leader, James shot 10 for 12 and had nine assists.
James came in having matched his career-high with nine 3-pointers in Sunday’s win at Brooklyn. The 20-time all-star took just one shot from distance against the Raptors, connecting with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
Davis sat the entire fourth quarter, while James checked out with 9:22 remaining in the final period after Los Angeles had extended its lead to 109–82. The Lakers visit the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
James said he appreciated the chance to get an early start on his postgame routine.
“It absolutely helps,” he said. “Every minute counts. I was able to get back here and get going on the treatment and my prep, and start preparing my body, hopefully, for tomorrow night.”
Lakers Coach Darvin Ham said he expected to have both James and Davis available against the Wizards, who beat Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
“We’ll see how they feel when they wake up in the morning but, in all likelihood, I’m sure they’ll play,” Mr. Ham said.
James has scored 20 or more points in five of his past six meetings with Toronto.
“He’s just so elite,” Raptors Coach Darko Rajakovic said. “It’s amazing to see a player at this age, after 20 years in the NBA, play at this high a level. We never saw anything like it.”
RJ Barrett scored 28 points and Immanuel Quickley added 20 for the Raptors. Toronto is three short of a franchise-worst 17-game losing streak, set in 1997–98.
Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. sat to rest, while Barrett and Quickley returned after missing time because of personal reasons and reconditioning, respectively. The pair combined for 17 points in the first quarter, but the Lakers closed the period with an 18–4 spurt to lead 34–25 after one.
Los Angeles held a 64–58 edge at the intermission. James and Davis each scored nine points in the third quarter as the Lakers stretched their lead to 100–79 after three.
“We challenged the guys,” Mr. Ham said of his halftime message. “They responded with a big defensive third quarter.”
The Raptors remained without five injured players, including starters Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl. Toronto two-way player Jontay Porter missed his fifth straight game as he remains under investigation for gambling allegations.
Raptors guard Bruce Brown left in the fourth quarter because of a sore right knee.
Lakers forward Cam Reddish was not available for personal reasons, while guard Gabe Vincent sat on the opening night of the back-to-back set as he returns from left-knee surgery.
By Ian Harrison
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