The Toronto Raptors lost a close game against the Warriors in Oakland on Wednesday night. It was a case of what could have been for the Raptors, who led by five points in the closing stages before a 10-0 run from Golden State sealed the game for the hosts. Pascal Siakam, who has been starting in Jonas Valanciunas’ absence, had an impressive performance with 20 points on 75% shooting, but ultimately Golden State proved to be the clutch team.
The Lakers are looking to move to 3-2 on the season. Their last outing was a 102-99 OT win against the Washington Wizards, in which the most exciting pregame story was how Lonzo Ball would be “tortured” by John Wall, according to Lonzo’s outspoken father, LaVar Ball. While Ball didn’t register a point or assist when guarded by Wall, he ended the game with six points, eight rebounds and ten assists. But it was Brandon Ingram who came through for the Lakers with 19 points and 10 boards, including the game-tying bucket to send it to overtime.
Keys to the game
3-point efficiency – Both teams struggled to convert the deep ball in their last games. An improved performance from long range from either side hands them the advantage.
Turnovers – The Raptors and Lakers had 18 and 22 turnovers respectively in their last outings. It proved costly for the Raptors while the Lakers got away with it, yet neither side can afford such wastefulness here.
Bench production – Both teams have strong weapons in the second unit. Look for guys like Kyle Kuzma and CJ Miles to step up.
Matchup to watch
DeMar DeRozan vs Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – KCP and DeMar DeRozan have been the top scoring options for their respective teams. It will be interesting to see these talents go head-to-head at the Staples Center.
Toronto Raptors projected lineup
PG – Kyle Lowry | SG – DeMar DeRozan | SF – Norman Powell | PF – Pascal Siakam | C – Serge Ibaka |
Los Angeles Lakers projected lineup
PG – Lonzo Ball | SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | SF – Brandon Ingram | PF – Larry Nance Jr | C – Brook Lopez |
Kyle Lowry is as tough as they come on the court, but will he struggle with the seven-inch height difference between him and Lonzo Ball? That’s not to say that Ball will light him up, but the Lakers rookie may have a more efficient scoring night on top of all the other great things he’s been doing on the court.
The over/under is set at 224.5, which may appear high at first glance. But with both teams’ defenses being a bit leaky of late, the over represents a sound bet.
It was a strong win for the Lakers against the Wizards, but lightning won’t strike twice on Friday night. The Raptors will win their fifth straight against the Lakers in an exciting, high-scoring matchup.
The game will be shown on local sports channels and NBA League Pass. Tip-off is at 10:30 pm ET.
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