Through the first 10 games of the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers have a better offensive rating when superstar small forward LeBron James is on the bench. With Kawhi Leonard sitting out, and this being a back-to-back, this might've been a game where he'd have gotten some good playing time.
Toronto didn't let its huge lead dwindle significantly until the final minutes, when the Lakers' youngster got the margin down to 117-107 with LeBron James on the bench.
"Man, to me, the most important thing is about the team", Ibaka said. "They just came out and hit us right in the mouth, and it's going to be very hard to make a game of that when you're trying to expend so much energy to get back into it".
James said his Lakers could've played better in certain areas against the Raptors, especially on the defensive end of the floor. At the point of attack we allowed them to get where they wanted to go however they wanted to go to start the game. "There's a sense of freedom and joy that comes when a top player like that is out".More news: Why James Milner was furious with teammates during Arsenal match
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The Raptors didn't seem to miss the star too much, as they stormed to victory over LeBron James and the Lakers.
There was no word on whether Leonard would potentially be available for Monday night's game in Utah against the Jazz. Toronto plans to be cautious with Leonard to start the season as he was limited to just nine games with the Spurs in 2017-18 because of a quad injury.
It's the fourth game in 11 that he has missed.
The Lakers' first quarter was shockingly bad.