The Roundup-Jazz defense falters in loss to Raptors

Tory Lanez

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Each team played without its leading scorer-Utah's Donovan Mitchell (22.4 ppg) and Toronto's Kawhi Leonard (26.1 ppg) both sat out with ankle injuries.

Toronto is now 3-0 on the road trip and 10-1 on the season.

The Raptors have been very cautious with Leonard in the early going, and Nurse already had told ESPN after Friday's game in Phoenix that Leonard would be sitting out one half of the team's back-to-backs indefinitely, having already sat out one half in each of Toronto's first two this season.

The Raptors clamped down on the Lakers defensively, limiting them 45.9% from the field and 25% from three-point land. By the time they locked things down on that end of the court, the Raptors were able to jump ahead 11 points at the break and never looked back.

Norman Powell left the game versus the Jazz in the second quarter after getting his arm stuck on this screen. The Raptors later announced he sustained a shoulder sprain; Powell did not return. There's games like this in an 82-game season where you just don't have it.

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Leonard missed the game with a sore left foot which no doubt had the Lakers breathing a sigh of relief.

This and that: Serge Ibaka got into foul trouble early but that didn't stop his recent offensive surge: despite a season-low 13:46 minutes, he shot 100 per cent from the field.

Ibaka's 20 points were a career high for points in any quarter, eclipsing his previous mark of 15. In that scenario, he would play Monday, according to Nurse. "At the point of attack we allowed them to get where they wanted to go, however they wanted to go to start the game".

However, this one game in November was a microcosm of why sources around league front offices believe the Lakers are an increasingly longer shot to land Leonard - way more think the Clippers are a likely destination - and the Raptors have a chance to keep him.

The Lakers are back in action at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

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