By Joe Resnick
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES _ Kyle Lowry had 25 points, DeMar DeRozan scored seven of his 18 in the final 3:34, and the Toronto Raptors snapped a three-game skid with a 102-91 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Five players scored in double digits for the defending Atlantic Division champions, off to an 8-6 start that began with five straight wins. They converted 15 Lakers turnovers into 21 points.
Raptors starting centre Jonas Valanciunas broke a bone in his left (non-shooting) hand when Kobe Bryant fouled him under the Toronto basket in the final minute of the first half. Valanciunas had three points in 18 minutes.
Terrence Ross, who signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Raptors on Nov. 2, had eight points in 14 minutes after missing six games because of a sprained ligament in his left thumb.
Bryant finished with 10 points in 38 minutes on 5-for-13 shooting after being rested Monday night in Phoenix during the Lakers’ 120-101 loss. In his two previous games, he played 32 1/2 minutes at Dallas last Friday and almost 36 minutes two nights later against Detroit in a 97-85 victory.
Toronto opened a 91-75 lead with a 12-2 run after the Lakers got within six on a 3-pointer by ex-Raptor Lou Williams with 11:10 left. DeMarre Carroll’s 3-pointer capped the rally with 7:58 to play, giving Toronto its biggest lead.
The Lakers responded with a 12-2 spurt capped by a 3 from Metta World Peace that narrowed the gap to 93-87 with 3:49 remaining. Toronto restored its double-digit lead before Bryant’s 3-pointer brought the Lakers to 97-91 with 1:48 to go.
Lowry led all scorers in the first half with 19 points, making five of six shots from behind the 3-point line. But the Raptors trailed 50-49 at the break after the Lakers ended the second quarter with a 17-8 run that included six points by Julius Randle.
Raptors: The previous time the teams met, the Raptors clinched their second straight division title and third in franchise history with a 94-83 victory at home. . G Norman Powell, who played four seasons at UCLA, spent the entire game on the bench in his first visit to Staples Center as a pro. On Thursday night, his former Bruins teammates named him honorary captain before beating Pepperdine 81-67 at Pauley Pavilion. . This is the first time the Raptors play the Lakers and Clippers on the same road trip since entering the NBA in 1995-96.
Lakers: Bryant, whose 81-point outburst against Toronto at Staples Center in January 2006 remains the second-highest scoring game in league history, had a triple-double the last time the Lakers hosted the Raptors on Nov. 30, 2014. . Williams faced his former team for the first time since signing a three-year, $33 million contract with Los Angeles on July 9. He finished with six points in 16 minutes. Williams was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2014-15, but was not offered a contract by the Raptors after the season.
Raptors: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
Lakers: Home against Portland on Sunday night.