Lakers Dominate Raptors: 2 Key Takeaways

(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night 128-111, winning seven of their last eight games to extend to 43-33 on the season.

The Lakers are now five games into their road trip with four wins, three of them being by over double digits. This blowout was a momentum builder following their Sunday night win before their next matchup tonight in D.C.

Let’s dive into our two key takeaways from Tuesday ahead of our final six games.

3P Shooting Efficiency

Since the All-Star Break, this Lakers team has been phenomenal beyond the arc.

The LakeShow has been shooting a second-best 40.0% from three-point range, ranking in the top half of the league in 3PM per game while averaging 5th least 3PA per game.

This production has come at the helm of three starters: LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell, who have averaged 48.8%, 46.1%, and 42.9% from three in this span. 

The Purple and Gold shot tremendously from deep against Toronto, going 18/41 for 43.9%. D’Angelo Russell accounted for seven of the treys on 14 attempts, but Spencer Dinwiddie’s three makes on six shots proved more telling of this team's direction down the stretch.

If the Lakers can continue to keep role players involved and shoot as efficiently as they have, there is no reason why they can’t compete with the league’s best offensive units. 

Team Basketball

Unlike earlier in the season, the Lakers have put together an offense that has done a much finer job of playing as a unit rather than resorting to isolation.

Post-All-Star break, LA averages the sixth most assists per game at 28.9, en route to a top-five offensive rating in this same stretch at 117.2. The Lakers average 1.6 more assists in wins over this span, allowing them to shoot their three-pointer 5.2% more effectively. 

LA continued this trend last night, recording 38 assists, causing so much offensive production that they held a lead of nearly 33 points at their best.

128 points is the product of strong offensive play as a unit and should excite Lakers nation entering their playoff push.

Expect more big nights on the scoreboard so long as the Lakers continue to move the ball and avoid limiting themselves to isolation possessions. 

The Lakers are 1.5 games back of the seventh-seed Sacramento Kings and eighth-seed Phoenix Suns with six games to go in the regular season.

With an appealing schedule up ahead, including a game against the 15-61 Wizards tonight, expect the Lakers to continue playing strong basketball and climbing up the standings for better playoff positioning. 

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