The Lakers didn’t need this.
With rumors swirling in recent days about coach Luke Walton’s job security, the Lakers came out flat at home against the Raptors on Sunday and never recovered en route to a 121-107 loss.
To make matters worse, the Lakers (4-6) caught the Raptors a man down, so to speak, with Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard unexpectedly missing the game due to a sore ankle.
It didn’t matter. The Raptors (9-1) came out hot and led the Lakers 42-17 after one quarter and 71-49 at the half. Serge Ibaka stood out for Toronto in Leonard’s absence, scoring 26 in the first half and finishing with 34 points on 15-of-17 shooting.
? Serge Ibaka has 18 PTS on a perfect 8-8 shooting! ?#WeTheNorth 34#LakeShow 10
WATCH on League Pass pic.twitter.com/lsdlTk6Hze
Lakers president Magic Johnson met with Walton last Tuesday about the team’s slow start, but Johnson told the Los Angeles Times the discussion had nothing to do with Walton’s job security and he’ll finish the season as the team’s coach “unless something drastic happens, which it won’t.”
Yet expectations in Los Angeles are exceedingly high this season with LeBron James on board. James had a so-so game — by his standards anyway — with 18 points in 28 minutes. But even if James was registering triple-doubles every night, he needs help, and the team needs to find its lineup chemistry.
Studs of the night
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over the Kings.
Aaron Gordon scored 26 and added eight rebounds in the Magic’s victory over the Spurs.
Duds of the night
The 76ers had 27 turnovers in a 122-97 loss to the Nets. To put that in perspective, Philadelphia led the NBA in turnovers last season with 16.3 per game.
Devin Booker calmly knocks down the game winner for the Suns against the Grizzlies. He finished with 25 points.
Devin. Booker. Buckets. #TimeToRise pic.twitter.com/RWVj7pTda6
Timberwolves rookie Josh Okogie absolutely posterizes Jusuf Nurkic on this dunk.
JOSH OKOGIE TAKES FLIGHT! ?️??#AllEyesNorth 21#RipCity 19
?: NBALP pic.twitter.com/mzYB1y4aNm
Lakers coach Luke Walton’s job not in jeopardy, Magic Johnson says
Celtics (6-3) at Nuggets (8-1), 9 p.m. ET — The Nuggets are out to an incredible start that has included some quality wins, including one over the Warriors. They’ll have their hands full with the Celtics. Boston is looking to get back on track after seeing its four-game winning streak snapped by Indiana in a last-second loss to the Pacers on Saturday night.
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