GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Toronto Raptors 37 22 30 20 116
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 25 28 26 30 118




Raptors vs. Lakers
Postgame: Mike D'Antoni
Bryant's Big Bucket
Raptors vs. Lakers: First Half
Kobe's Easy Dunk

Lakers beat Raptors 118-116 in OT to go over .500

By BETH HARRIS


Posted Mar 09 2013 1:42AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant hit the tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in regulation, then dunked for the go-ahead basket with 10 seconds left in overtime, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 118-116 on Friday night for their second straight come-from-behind win.

Two nights after rallying from 25 points down to win on the road at New Orleans, the Lakers came back from a 15-point deficit in regulation and a slow start in overtime to gain ground on Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. They also moved a game above .500.

Bryant finished with 41 points and 12 assists, making 14 of 16 free throws, and Dwight Howard had 24 points and 13 rebounds while going 6 of 13 from the free-throw line.

DeMar DeRozan led six Toronto players in double figures with 28 points. Rudy Gay and Alan Anderson added 17 points each, and Kyle Lowry had 15 points and 10 assists. Starter Andrea Bargnani left the game with a strained right elbow in the first quarter.

The Lakers won their fifth in a row at home and 10th straight at Staples Center against Toronto, which was seeking its first-ever season sweep after winning 108-103 on Jan. 20.

The Lakers found themselves playing catch-up nearly the entire game.

Under defensive pressure in overtime, Bryant passed off to his teammates, but they repeatedly missed. Steve Nash finally hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 115 with 45 seconds left. Then Bryant's running dunk gave the Lakers their second lead of overtime.

Howard fouled Alan Anderson, who made the first free throw and deliberately missed the second. But Aaron Gray fouled going for the ball, giving the Lakers possession. Nash got fouled and missed the first but made the second for a 118-116 lead.

Gay's jumper missed as time expired, the same thing that happened to him when he took the last shot of regulation. Bryant and Howard combined to score 12 straight points in the fourth and Nash hit a 3-pointer as the Lakers trailed 103-99, the third time they closed within four points. Bryant's 3-pointer beat the shot clock and got the Lakers to 105-103.

Anderson hit a jumper for the Raptors, who led 107-103. Bryant missed a 3-pointer, but after a timeout, he caught the inbounds pass from Nash and hit a 3-pointer that drew the Lakers within a point with 29 seconds to go.

Howard fouled Lowry, who made both for a 109-106 lead with 8 seconds left. After another timeout, Bryant caught the inbounds from Steve Blake and fought through traffic to make the tying 3-pointer at 109-all.

Bryant had the Lakers in rally mode in the third when they trailed by 13. He keyed a 13-5 run with eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, to get to 83-78. But then Bryant had two straight turnovers, and Antawn Jamison and Bryant missed 3-pointers to close the quarter trailing 89-79.

Howard and Bryant combined to score 17 of the Lakers' 28 points in the second quarter, when they rallied from 15 points down to trail 59-53 at the break. Bryant only played the final five minutes of the period, scoring five points in that time.

The Raptors shot 74 percent in the first quarter, outscoring Los Angeles 37-25. Toronto lost Bargnani with a strained right elbow after he scored two points in nine minutes.

NOTES: The Raptors play 18 of their final 20 games against Eastern opponents. ... Toronto concluded its four-game trip with a 1-3 mark, having changed time zones four times. ... The Raptors haven't won at Staples since Nov. 13, 2009, when they beat the Clippers. ... They fell to 9-23 on the road.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited






View More Photos


Points Bryant, 41
Rebounds Howard, 13
Assists Bryant, 12
Steals Howard and Gay (TOR), 3
Blocks Howard, 5


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike D'Antoni:

On tonight’s game:
We started off awful, we had no energy, and we lose Dwight (Howard). We made some runs and got our energy up a little bit, but we didn’t play great. The ball didn’t want to move, we got it really stuck. Again, I’m talking about us, they played well, they played hard and you have got to give them credit.

On Steve Nash playing off the ball:
“Like I’ve said, he’s probably one of the best shooters in history and he’s playing a little bit off the ball. Kobe [Bryant] does some unbelievable things and he has the ball in his hands. And again, Steve [Nash] had 22 and it’s going to be that way a little bit. At the same time, he’ll get in the pick-n-rolls and stuff but right now Kobe [Bryant] is orchestrating a lot of stuff and Steve [Nash] is okay with it.”

On Steve Nash shooting off the ball with little rhythm:
“You’re right, it’s not easy but if anybody can do it, he can do it and he’ll accept anything which means to win, and it’s what makes him so great and why he has a great career. We need to get better obviously on a lot of things but to me it’s mostly defensive intensity. We have periods where we’re just not real sharp and we need to get better at that.”

On moving closer into the playoff picture:
“We could have easily lost both these games and then we would be in a bigger hole than we are now obviously, but we just got to keep plugging away and Sunday at 12:30, it’s not going to be easy. They got to get their energy back and start the game a little bit better but we do have some weapons that are dangerous going down the stretch. It’s hard to guard us. We got guys who make big shots. Kobe’s [Bryant] shots tonight, I mean that’s ridiculous, it’s unbelievable and I’m glad I’m on this side and not the other side; usually it’s the other side. We can be very dangerous but at the same time we can be really good if we get [collective energies] and get Pau [Gasol] back and that’s kind of the last piece that we need.”




Kobe Bryant:

On the game and his three point shots in the fourth quarter:
“Man this one was tough. I mean I was completely irresponsible with the basketball all night long and I just wanted to get in a position where I could somewhat redeem myself.”

“This is a huge win for us. We keep digging ourselves in these holes and we have to figure out a way to come back so that we don’t have to work so hard to get a win. But, it feels good to be back within striking distance.”

On his fourth quarter dunk:
“I tried to push through it. I knew Gray, he is not the fastest guy on the court. I knew he was coming up to trap me. I just had to wait for him to get close enough to me where I could attack him and go by him. And once I got by him I saw daylight and I just took off.”




Steve Nash:

On Kobe in the end of regulation:
“Any surprise? I mean he has been unbelievable and milking him has honestly been a beautiful thing.”

“I wish I had the answer for you. I mean we are obviously disappointed in that [having to fight back]. But, maybe we are a bit tired. This stretch of the schedule has been tough where we keep going across the country for a back-to-back, then back home for a couple of games and then back across the country for a back-to-back. Maybe it takes us some time to get going, but no excuses. We have to fight through the schedule and try to come out early and have a good game on Sunday.”

“Just belief man. Fighting. We have a veteran team. Obviously Kobe is playing at a high level. I am comfortable in the fourth quarters and I think we believe. We were playing better. The game got a little tighter and we made it more difficult for them. We can’t live like that but, we can survive like that for a few games.”




Antawn Jamison:

On how the team was able to win tonight:
“Number 24. He found a way to do the things that he normally does and it didn’t look good there for a moment but he willed us to this win tonight and Dwight [Howard] got some big stops for us down the stretch, but the point of emphasis was that we really can’t outscore this team we need to really buckle down and play close to 48 minutes of defense and once again we waited until the last three or four minutes to try and get our act together. It was definitely a scenario we don’t want to get put in again but you just got to say, Kobe, he put us on his shoulders and took us to victory tonight.”

On back-to-back comeback wins:
“I’ve been on the other end of back-to-back games as far as having the lead and everything looking well and not finding a way to win, but the way we won and the type of fashion we won, I can’t recall a couple games like that back-to-back. This team is showing character. It’s showing no matter what the situation is we still feel that we can win and we’re going to do everything possible to try to win.”




Dwight Howard:

On what lead to Kobe Bryant’s game winning dunk:
“I knew that my man was going to come trap and Kobe was going to run and get around him and Rudy [Gay] was afraid to leave me for the lob and we got the easy dunk.”

On Kobe Bryant’s play lately:
“He’s hitting some tough shots. He’s putting everything he’s got into it and we’re doing our best to help him out.”

On his help defense:
“I just kept telling him [Jodie Meeks] just stay strong and let them shoot over top and I’ll come try to block it and I got one and the other one I tipped it and it still went in, but those guys are tough down there. They’ve got a lot of guys that can score and he did the best job he could on all those guys. I just kept telling him force them to the paint and I’ll try to erase it.”

On how fun these games have been to play in:
“They are fun. Playing in games like this is great for our team because we’re trying to get better. Toronto’s tough and we could have just stopped playing, but we know what we want to do, we know what we’re trying to accomplish as a team and we just stuck together. Kobe hit some tough shots then we got some good stops at the end.”




Dwane Casey:

On end of the game:
“We were going to foul. To answer your question we were going to foul. We were supposed to foul, we had constructed a foul. Two guys froze, I don’t know what happened but we were going to foul. That was our game plan at eight seconds, no questions about it. Again it’s should’ve, could’ve, would’ve and that doesn’t count in the NBA. ”

On playing against Kobe Bryant:
“He makes great shots and he’s a great player. That’s why we were double teaming every time we had the opportunity. Our guys had a valid effort. It’s to the point now that when you’re playing for a championship and the playoffs you have to put the mental part into it. Our guys are fighting, scratching their behinds off. Now we have to understand the intensity, the speed of the game, how much you have to put thought into the game and execution at the same time as you are playing hard. Nobody can question the effort, everybody in the game fought and scrapped. You have to put thought; you have to let your basketball IQ take over.”

On Rudy Gay struggling from the field:
“He’s our go to guy. He’s our guy that’s our closer, he and DeMar both. DeMar had it going a little bit more but you have those nights. We were trying to get him looks that he normally gets but he had a tough night. We still have to depend on him and have him put us on his back.”

“I thought he had some good looks. As far as pin downs, he had one look in transition that was tough. He had to charge but that happens and you have to be aggressive.”




Amir Johnson:

On what happened on the last play of regulation:
“He [Kobe Bryant] made a cut, I tried to foul him, but he made a good play. I missed him and he made a tough shot. Especially when were up three, we wanted to make him shoot free throws.”

On tonight’s loss:
“It was a tough loss for us; we could have won the game. Kobe [Bryant] made some tough shots down the stretch and we just came up short.”




DeMar Derozan:

On the frustration of having to go to overtime:
“We understand, and we had to deal with it. We were going to overtime and there was nothing we could do except man up and deal with it.”

On trying to guard Kobe Bryant tonight:
“You just have to make him take tougher shots. We understand he’s going to make tough shots, that’s what he does. We tried to get the ball out of his hands and tried to make somebody else beat us. A couple of guys on the Lakers made big shots.”

On playing at home in LA:
“I was just trying to get a win. We could have played in Wyoming. I was just trying to get a win.”




Rudy Gay:

On Kobe Bryant’s play tonight:
“He hit some tough shots. He hit a crazy shot. When he’s going like that, it’s tough to guard him. It’s not easy at all. He played smart tonight, and took advantage of our defense.”

On if he liked the looks he was getting offensively:
“They didn’t go in, so I guess not. I don’t like to miss.”






RAPTORS-LAKERS PREVIEW

By JEFF MEZYDLO

Posted Mar 07 2013 1:41PM

A remarkable comeback in their latest contest showed how serious the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be about making a push for the playoffs.

Trying again to move above .500 for the first time since November, the Lakers hope to continue their home success over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night while trying for a season-high fifth straight victory at Staples Center.

Trailing by as many as 25 points, Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 42 during a 20-0 run over the final 6:22 to help Los Angeles (31-31) win 108-102 at New Orleans on Wednesday. It was the Lakers' 14th win in 20 games and a strong indication that they're poised to leave the previous turmoil of the season in the past and move back into playoff position.

Los Angeles, which was last above .500 at 6-5 on Nov. 20, is 1 1/2 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"This game brought us closer together as a team," said Dwight Howard, who had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, including a key rejection of Robin Lopez's attempted game-tying shot in the final 30 seconds.

"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."

Averaging 35.1 points on 56.4 percent shooting in the last seven games, Bryant again was the driving force one night after he scored 30 while playing through an elbow injury in a 122-105 loss at Oklahoma City. He scored 18 in the fourth quarter and had 12 assists Wednesday.

"It's tough games like this that really strengthen the bond between us players and that's really what the playoffs is about," Bryant said. "You have adversity. It's about who's going to stick together and who's not going to break."

Even with star Pau Gasol out with a foot injury, the Lakers are in a better place than they were while losing 10 of 12 in January. That rut included a 108-103 loss at Toronto (24-38) on Jan. 20 that snapped a four-game series winning streak. Bryant scored 26 and Steve Nash added 16 with nine assists but Howard was limited to five points with two boards before being ejected late in the first half for drawing his second technical foul.

Los Angeles has won nine straight over the Raptors at home, where it's averaged 105.4 points and shot 50.1 percent to win eight of nine overall. Toronto is 2-13 all-time at Los Angeles, but its last two defeats there came by a combined seven points.

Toronto snapped a five-game slide by shooting 48.1 percent during a 98-71 win at Phoenix on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 to lead six Toronto players in double figures and help the Raptors win for the second time in eight games.

"We were desperate and tired of losing, being on that five-game losing streak," DeRozan said. "We had to continue to keep stepping on their necks. We tend to give up leads, and (Wednesday) we stayed focused, especially on defense."

Toronto held the Suns to 37.8 percent from the field while allowing its fewest points of the season. The Raptors gave up 247 on 53.4 percent shooting in losing its previous two games at Milwaukee and Golden State.

DeRozan, a southern California native, averages a team-leading 17.7 points but has been held to eight in each of the last two against the Lakers - both at home.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #22 Gay  
  #6 ClarkPF #7 Bargnani  
  #12 Howard C #17 Valanciunas  
  #24 Bryant SG #10 DeRozan  
  #10 Nash PG #3 Lowry  




Lakers Kobe Bryant
(ulnar nerve contusion, right arm) is probable.
Pau Gasol
(strained plantar fascia, right foot) is out.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
Metta World Peace
(right ankle injury) is probable.


01/20 - LAL 103 @ TOR 108
03/08 - TOR @ LAL