Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways from impressive 107-92 win over Lakers

Fred VanVleet #23 and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)
Fred VanVleet #23 and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet #23 and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis – Pool/Getty Images) /

We break down the Toronto Raptors’ well-deserved win over a Los Angeles Lakers team with legitimate championship aspirations.

After an absence of more than four months, the Toronto Raptors finally returned to regular season (play-in) action on Saturday. And it couldn’t have gone much better.

After a constant stream of injuries to key personnel, the Raptors were fully restocked and fresh, but there were still concerns. The Los Angeles Lakers were coming off a thrilling 103-101 win against the Clippers, and looked primed to continue their momentum.

In the end however, the concerns were for nothing, as the Raptors came away with an impressive performance. Here are our three takeaways from the 107-92 win:

Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis – Pool/Getty Images) /

1) Kyle Lowry shows he’s still the main man

Without Kawhi Leonard last season, the Raptors don’t win the NBA Championship. However, the same outcome was more than likely if it had been Kyle Lowry who wasn’t involved. (As Leonard said himself when he was traded to Toronto, it was still Lowry’s team.)

Lowry is undoubtedly the leader on the team, commanding the ultimate respect from all of his teammates. And amazingly, even though he is now 34, he seems to be playing better than ever.

Consider that up to this point, Lowry is on course to average the third-most points of his career, as well as the second-most assists and rebounds. Again giving a nod to his enduring consistently well into his thirties, he averaged his career-high for assists only last season and his career-best for boards just a season earlier.

Lowry continued his fantastic form on Saturday with a dominating performance, leading all scorers with 33 points. He was particularly impressive from downtown, making five of nine three-pointers.

Lowry also had a game-high 14 rebounds, to go along with six assists. The 14 boards were especially significant, as they represented a new career-high.

One of the examples of Lowry’s leadership last season, was how he was prepared to take a step back and allow Leonard to be the main man. He is all about the team and this was highlighted by his career-best 8.7 assists per game during the championship run.

With this in mind, it was no surprise Lowry preferred to focus on the team as a whole rather than himself when speaking after the win over the Lakers. As reported by the Associated Press via ESPN, he said:

"“Nick [Nurse] says he’s going to kind of ease us back in and use it as an exhibition. We’ve got too many competitive guys that want to go out there and play and hoop and win games, especially against the guys like the Lakers and with the team that’s No. 1 in the West. The competitive juices get going.”"