Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/24

Game 1: Sunday, January 24th
Game 2: Tuesday, March 9th

Lakers 105

(33-11, 10-8 away)

Raptors 106

(23-22, 15-6 home)

    Coverage: SCOR

    6:00 PM ET, January 24, 2010

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 24 32 28 21105
    TOR 21 33 28 24106

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Bryant 27 Pts, 16 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Tor: C. Bosh 18 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Lakers-Raptors Preview


    Kobe Bryant doesn't want to miss any time to allow his fractured index finger to heal, but he would like his teammates to help take some pressure off him.

    Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers continue their eight-game road trip Sunday when they take on the Toronto Raptors.

    Since breaking his right index finger last month, Bryant has maintained a 28.3 scoring average but his shooting percentage has suffered. The Lakers star has been held below 40 percent in seven of the last 10 games and has shot 32.4 percent from the field over his last three contests.

    Bryant shot 8 of 24 and finished with 27 points Friday in a 115-105 victory at New York. It was the fourth win in five games for Los Angeles (33-10), which bounced back after a loss to Cleveland the previous night.

    Despite his shooting struggles, Bryant has no plans to rest.

    "I thought about it," he said. "I have a break in two places. It is not going to go anywhere if I sit out. I can still play and let it heal on its own."

    Bryant, who scored 61 points in his previous visit to Madison Square Garden, didn't need to put up those kind of numbers Friday thanks to some help from his teammates. Five other players scored in double figures, led by Pau Gasol's 20-point effort. Gasol scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers turn a one-point deficit into a 10-point victory.

    "Guys have to get going," Bryant said. "Pau's got to get going, Andrew (Bynum's) got to get going. Other players have to find a rhythm because I need them on this (road) trip."

    Bryant is averaging 31.4 points in his last six visits to Toronto, but Gasol also had a solid performance in his last game at Air Canada Centre, scoring 31 points in a 115-107 victory there last February. The Lakers swept the last two season series between these teams.

    After losing to the Cavaliers to open their season-high seven-game trip, the Lakers have a chance to string together some victories. They don't face another team with a winning record until next Sunday, when they visit Boston in the penultimate game of their trek.

    Toronto (22-22), though, has won eight of its last nine home games including a 101-96 victory over Milwaukee on Friday. The Raptors avoided both a home-and-home sweep and a three-game overall losing streak.

    Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 27 points for Toronto, and Chris Bosh added 17 with seven rebounds after finishing with a career-high 44 at Milwaukee earlier in the week. Their efforts helped the Raptors rally from a 15-point deficit.

    "We didn't want to disappoint the crowd tonight," Bosh said. "We kept the effort up, kept fighting, playing good basketball and pulled one out."

    Bosh, the Raptors' leading scorer at 24.1 points per game, scored just 12 in each of the two games against the Lakers last season. He's averaging 16.8 versus Los Angeles in his career.

    Toronto center Andrea Bargnani sat out Friday with a sore lower back and was replaced in the starting lineup by Rasho Nesterovic. He is day-to-day.

    The Raptors have won five straight at home against teams from the Western Conference.