Are the Toronto Raptors Serious NBA Championship Contenders?

Thursday, 08 Nov, 2018

The game's top scorer was Serge Ibaka, who put up a career-high 34 points, having his way against any and all of the Lakers' interior defenders.

Although the final score read 121-107 at the final buzzer, the Los Angeles Lakers took a beating in their November 4 matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

The NBA world had a field day with Toronto's performance on social media, especially coming against James and the much anticipated Lakers team.

Leonard is averaging 26.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in his first season in Toronto.

Entering Monday's matchup with the Utah Jazz - a game the Raptors won handedly - the combination of Lowry's shooting, scoring, passing and overall efficiency gave him a statistical profile similar to Steve Nash in his second MVP season.

The Raptors star tweaked his ankle on Friday in a victory against the Phoenix Suns.

The Kings, now 5-4, haven't had a home game since beating Washington 116-112 on October 26.

As a result, the Raptors go from outscoring opponents by 17.4 points per 100 possessions with Lowry on the court to being outscored by 11.7 points per 100 possessions with him off the court. "Everybody has got to do their job and compete". At the end of a long road trip for the Raptors, this could have the makings of a trap game, but thus far this season Nurse has had the answers most of the time and has been able to have his team prepared for the challenge each game offered.

With Paul George committed to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kawhi Leonard is now widely seen as that next superstar the Lakers will be targeting.

But, as the Raptors soar above the clouds with an eye towards a destination in June it's important for them not to get slowed down by would-be challengers hoping to knock one of the NBA's elite off course momentarily.

With that said, Utah will also be without its best offensive player in this spot, with Donovan Mitchell absent with an ankle sprain.

Lowry came up with his ninth-straight game with 10 or more assists, putting up 11.

The Lakers would squander that big lead but somehow managed to overcome their late mistakes and hold on for the win thanks to James' free-throw shooting and some clutch baskets by JaVale McGee. From that point, it was the Los Angeles playing from behind in a major deficit with Toronto maintaining their double-digit lead throughout the final two quarters with them being ahead by at least 10 points all the way through.

All indications are that Leonard isn't battling a serious ailment at the moment, even with the caveat that foot issues aren't always easy to deal with for National Basketball Association players.

"I feel all right", he told reporters after Toronto practiced on Saturday.