Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors Pick & Prediction JANUARY 9th 2024

With a much-needed victory after a difficult week, the Los Angeles Lakers will look to build off the success when the Toronto Raptors visit Tuesday.

The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak with a hard-fought 106-103 victory over the surging Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday as LeBron James scored 25 points with eight rebounds and seven assists. Anthony Davis added 22 points with 10 rebounds as the team’s stars took the lead in changing the team’s fortunes.

Not only had the Lakers entered the game 3-10 since winning the NBA in-season tournament, there was reported discontent between unnamed players on the roster and head coach Darvin Ham.

James and Davis stepped up in an apparent show of support for Ham, who seems to have love from the two players he needs most.

The hard work from Los Angeles’ star duo inspired others around them as Taurean Prince and D’Angelo Russell each had 13 points and Christian Wood had nine points and 10 rebounds. Russell returned after missing the previous three games with a tailbone contusion, but Rui Hachimura (calf) missed his third straight.

The Lakers’ defense held the hot-shooting Clippers to 39.6 percent from the field, tied for their worst in a game this season.

“It takes the others to win championships and win basketball games,” Davis said. “These guys played phenomenal and when these guys are playing well, it just makes me and Bron drop a lot easier. Obviously, we have ultimate trust in these guys to make shots and take big shots. When they’re playing well, the floor just opens up for us.”

James and Davis combined to shoot 21 of 34 (61.8 percent) from the floor as the Lakers shot 51.2 percent as a team and made 11 of 29 attempts from 3-point range (37.9 percent).

“Try to use this to try to catapult a little bit better play from us,” James said. “But it still doesn’t take away from the fact of how we’ve been playing like the last 11, 12 games. It was a good start. Hopefully, we can start from here and continue to build.”

The new-look Raptors are playing better after a rough stretch, winning three of their last four games following a run in which they lost five of six. Toronto improved to 2-1 on a six-game road trip with a 133-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

In his fourth game with the Raptors following after a trade from the New York Knicks, RJ Barrett scored a season-high 37 points. Immanuel Quickley, who was also acquired in the deal, had 10 assists with nine points.

In his four games with his hometown team, Barrett has averaged 21.0 points on 53.8-percent shooting with 6.5 rebounds. He was scoring 18.2 points on 42.3-percent shooting in 26 games with the Knicks to open the season.

“I’m coming in here learning a new system and trying to attack it head on; trying to be a sponge,” Barrett said. “I’m watching a lot of film, just making sure that I’m doing the things that coach (Darko Rajakovic) wants and finding a way to be effective on that end.”

–Field Level Media

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