Lakers vs Toronto: Lakers just get by the Raptors
Lakers 108, Raptors 103 (final)
They just got by a Raptors team that now is 1-4 on the season.
It took Pau Gasol scoring 30 points and Kobe Bryant adding 23 for the Lakers to improve to 6-0.
The Lakers were out-rebounded, 49-31. They also gave up a 38-point second quarter to the Raptors and trailed at halftime by three points.
Gasol, who made 12 of his 22 shots, finished with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Bryant made six of 12 shots, missing all three of his three-point attempts, and 11 of 12 free throws. He had six assists, four rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot.
Steve Blake (14) and Shannon Brown (12) combined for 26 points off the bench. Starting point guard Derek Fisher had 11. Lamar Odom did not shoot well, making two of 10 shots and three of seven free throws to finish with seven points.
The Raptors had six players in double figures, including reserves Leandro Barbosa (17 points), Jose Calderon (14) and Amir Johnson (12, plus 15 rebounds including nine offensive). DeMar DeRozan led the starters with 15 points.
Lakers 82, Raptors 78 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers found a little of their groove back in the third quarter.
To do that, the Lakers had to play better defense against the Raptors.
After giving up 38 points in the second quarter, the Lakers held the Raptors to 20 points in the third.
By the end of the third quarter, Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 22 points.
Raptors 58, Lakers 55 (end of first half)
A lackluster effort in the second quarter got the Lakers in trouble and left them trailing by three points at halftime.
The Lakers led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, but that all changed.
The Lakers were outscored, 38-22, in the second quarter.
Pau Gasol has made seven of 11 shots and leads the Lakers with 15 points. Kobe Bryant has made four of seven shots, although he missed both three-point attempts, and has 10 points, four assists, two steals and two rebounds. Lamar Odom leads the Lakers with five rebounds.
Barbosa leads the Raptors with 15 points, while shooting guard DeMar DeRozan has 10 points.
Lakers 33, Raptors 20 (end of first quarter)
The highlight of many highlights for the Lakers in the first quarter Friday night came from Kobe Bryant.
Bryant threw a behind-the-head pass to Pau Gasol for a dunk in transition that brought the fans and Bryant's teammates out of their seats.
Bryant had four assists in the first to go along with eight points.
Steve Blake entered the game and scored nine points by making all three of his three-point shots.
Since Chris Bosh left Toronto to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat, the Raptors have become a different team.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson still views the Raptors as a team with some talent, but he also sees a young team still trying to find its way.
Jackson, whose Lakers face the Raptors on Friday night at Staples Center, said Toronto now relies more on center Andrea Bargnani to score inside and outside.
Jackson said the Lakers have to prevent point guard Jarrett Jack from penetrating and breaking down their defense.
After missing the first five games recovering from a strained right hamstring, Luke Walton will be placed on the active list for Friday night's game, Jackson said.
Jackson said he'll play it by ear as far as whether Walton will play.
Photo: Lakers forward Matt Barnes looks to pass around the double-team defense of Toronto's DeMar DeRozan (background) and David Andersen on Friday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times