Raptors rally to beat Lakers, spoil Ball's birthday

 28 Oct 2017 - 12:16

Raptors rally to beat Lakers, spoil Ball's birthday
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) during the first half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez

AFP

Los Angeles: The Toronto Raptors erased an early 17-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-92 on Friday and spoil the birthday celebrations of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

Ball, who turned 20 on Friday, scored just five points on 2-of-7 shooting.

He added seven rebounds with six assists and two steals and was benched, along with the rest of the Lakers starters, by frustrated coach Luke Walton with 3:42 remaining and Los Angeles down by eight.

"We gave up a lot of fast-break points, people not getting back," Ball said. "It was a (starting) unit thing, so that's why he pulled everybody."

Added Walton: "Our young guys have to realize, this is an opportunity. This is a privilege to get these types of opportunities. You've got to go out there and take those and play extremely hard if you want to win at this level, especially without the mega-super stars on this team."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey acknowledged that his players "didn't show up in the first half," as his fears of an emotional hangover after two close defeats to the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors materialized.

But the Raptors rallied behind their top players DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. 

The pair had combined for one point midway through the second quarter. But DeRozan finished with 24 points and Lowry added 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for the ninth triple-double of his career.

"We found a way in the second half," Casey said, "pulled together and played with some toughness."

The Lakers opened the second half by missing their first three shots from the field and turning the ball over three times, opening the door for Toronto.

The Raptors seized the lead with 8:05 to play in the third.

It was the first of nine lead changes in the period, but the Lakers' challenge was undone by 21 turnovers to Toronto's 12.

"We keep throwing that ball around on fast breaks like we don't care about scoring those points," Walton said. "It's killing us."