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Raptors take on Lakers

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The 2023-24 NBA NBA continues on Tuesday, January 9, with the Toronto Raptors taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in an inter-conference showdown at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.

Toronto and Los Angeles meet for the first time this season. Last season, they split a two-game series, with each team coming out victorious on their home court. The Raptors are coming off a big win.

Raptors Look to Rise

The Raptors moved to a 15-21 record in wins and 17-18-1 against the spread on the season after Sunday's 133-118 win over the Golden State Warriors. It was their third win in four games, and the Raptors surpassed the 130-point mark for the second straight game. Toronto suffered a 135-130 loss to the Sacramento Kings last Friday.

The Raptors hit 58.5% of their shots from the field at the Chase Center in San Francisco. They made 15 of 33 three-pointers while dishing out an astounding 38 assists. They committed just seven turnovers on the night, and RJ Barrett led the offense with 37 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Barrett expressed his effort to play correctly and support his teammates. He emphasized the presence of a continuous learning process, highlighting his dedication to understanding and improving the defensive system through daily video review.

His primary focus remains contributing to the team to the best of his ability. Meanwhile, the Raptors rank 16th in the NBA in adjusted offensive efficiency at 115.5 points per 100 possessions.

Toronto makes just 11.7 three-pointers per 100 possessions, ranking 26th in that regard at 35.3%.

However, the Raptors have a 55.4% shooting percentage from inside the arc, ranking 11th, while dishing out 29.5 assists per game, ranking third.

Lakers erase losing streak

The Lakers, with a record of 18-19, are coming off a 106-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. After losing four straight games to the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-106, New Orleans Pelicans 129-109, Miami Heat 110-96 and Memphis Grizzlies 127-113, the Lakers surprised as 5.5-point betting underdogs.

The Purple and Gold scored 51.2% of their shots from the field last Sunday. They made 11 of 29 three-pointers while posting a modest 23/19 assist/loss ratio, but the Lakers played tough defense to limit the Clippers to a 39.6% field goal shooting percentage.

LeBron James led the way for the Lakers with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Anthony Davis added 22 points and ten rebounds.

Davis commented that the team took a necessary approach to the game, treating it as a must-win game.

The player highlighted the competence in both facets of the game and emphasized the importance of building on that performance. He underscored the team's knowledge of what it takes to win, and stated that they demonstrated it that night.

The Lakers are averaging 112.3 points per 100 possessions, 24th in the NBA.

They convert 55.5% of their two-point shots, ranking 10th in that regard, and 35.2% of their three-pointers, ranking 25th, while dishing out 27.3 assists per game, ranking ninth.

The Lakers are without Gabe Vincent, out with a knee injury, who should return to the court in February, while Rui Hachimura, out with a calf injury, is doubtful to play Tuesday against the Raptors.

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