NBA Basketball Las Vegas Odds: Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers
Friday, March 08, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
The Los Angeles Lakers look to follow up a superlative come-from-behind victory when they host the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Los Angeles trailed by as many as 25 points before eventually closing the game on a 20-0 run to beat the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. Los Angeles has an opportunity to move above .500 for the first time since being 6-5 on Nov. 20. Toronto routed the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday to snap a five-game skid.
The Raptors are just 2-13 all-time against the Lakers in Los Angeles, with their last victory coming on Dec. 28, 2001. Toronto allowed a season-low 71 points and forced 29 turnovers in the victory over the Suns. “I thought it was one of our most focused efforts of the year defensively,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Everyone that went into the game had a big-time effort.” Los Angeles is 14-6 over its past 20 games and has moved within 1 1/2 games of the eighth-place Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers are 20-11 at home and the Raptors are 9-22 on the road. Toronto notched a 108-103 home win over Los Angeles on Jan. 20.
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, March 8, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TSN2 (Toronto), Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Los Angeles)
Toronto Raptors (24-38): Guard DeMar DeRozan was the only Toronto starter to score more than 10 points in the win over the Suns as the bench combined for 54 points and nine 3-pointers in the victory. Recently acquired guard Sebastian Telfair got on the court for only the second time since joining the club and had 13 points, seven assists and four steals against his former club. Telfair and fellow reserve guard Alan Anderson each hit three 3-pointers. Starting forward Rudy Gay and starting point guard Kyle Lowry tallied just five points apiece.
Los Angeles Lakers (31-31): Kobe Bryant scored 42 points against New Orleans and is averaging 35.1 points over the past seven games. Bryant’s low outing during the stretch is 29 points. He fueled the comeback victory and center Dwight Howard also fared well with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. “This game brought us closer together as a team,” Howard said afterward. “This is what it takes when you’re playing for the playoffs and then when you’re in the playoffs, fighting through games like this and it just shows our character.”
1. Los Angeles is looking for its 10th consecutive home victory over Toronto.
2. The Raptors have held opponents under 80 points on 17 occasions since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign, which ranks fourth in the NBA during that span.
3. G Jodie Meeks scored 19 points against New Orleans and made five 3-pointers, the third time he has made five or more this season.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Lakers 112, Raptors 103.
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