Lakers Showcase Offensive Prowess in Win Over Raptors
The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night 132-131.
This matchup went down to the wire, featuring quality basketball on both ends, yet the purple and gold pulled it out largely due to a 23-2 free throw discrepancy in the fourth quarter.
Regardless, by squeezing by in this one, the Lakers move back up to .500 on the year and find themselves amid a much-needed two-game winning streak.
Ahead of the rest of this month of Lakers basketball, let’s dive into the key takeaways from the Lakers’ big scoring night.
ANTHONY DAVIS TONIGHT:— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 10, 2024
77% FG pic.twitter.com/pwmlULsJX5
Simply put, the Lakers were weak on the defensive end last night. The LakeShow let up 131 points on 53/94 (56.4%) from the field and 17/35 (48.6%) from three.
Toronto additionally had four 20+ point scorers in R.J Barrett, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Immanuel Quickley.
With no defensive answer for the Toronto offensive clinic, the Lakers were forced to respond with offense of their own.
LA matched the Raptors' offensive efficiency, putting up 132 points on 44/81 (54.3%) from the field and 16/36 (44.4%) from three.
Anthony Davis shined bright in this one, putting up 41 points along with ten rebounds on 13/17 shooting, yet the rest of the squad also took care of business.
Seven scored double digits of Head Coach Darvin Ham’s short nine-man rotation. Both Cam Reddish (13 points) and Christian Wood (14 points) turned in solid scoring nights on their increased minutes.
With stellar offensive play across the board, the Lakers made up for their lackluster performance on defense and were able to get the slight edge in this one.
NBA heard all the complaining last night and said actually, the Lakers should’ve had more free throws. https://t.co/eUcItE762f— Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand) January 10, 2024
Free Throws and Three Pointers
When looking at why the Lakers played so well offensively last night, it becomes evident that the two biggest factors were their free throw and three-point shooting production.
LA shot 36 free throws in comparison to Toronto’s 13, mostly due to the inability of the Raptors to defend Anthony Davis without fouling down low. Davis shot 14 free throws in this one, more than the entire Toronto team.
The Lakers also recorded a solid three-point shooting night, something that has become indicative of Laker victories this season. In their last 15 games, the Lakers shot 44.4% from three in wins compared to 33.5% in losses.
This discrepancy has been the indicator of total offensive production for the Lakers this season, and as long as they find consistency in this category, they will continue to win games on the offensive end.
Ultimately, the Lakers will need to have a balanced attack both offensively and defensively in order to win games in the future; however, the purple and gold showed tonight that they are, in fact, capable of turning it on in the scoring department.
If LA can continue to force contact at the rim and find open three-point shots, we can expect big scoring nights like this one in the future.
LA will play one more at home against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night before heading back on the road to Utah, where they will look to continue their success from their last couple of games.