Skip to main content


LeBron, Lakers take on struggling Raptors tonight on TSN


LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers make their only trip of the season to Toronto on Tuesday to take on a Raptors team in the midst of one of the worst losing streaks in franchise history.

Toronto has dropped 13 games in a row and sit four back of matching the team record of 17 straight from 1997. Coming off a 1-14 record in the month of March, the Raptors will have their work cut out for them against a Lakers team battling for position in a crowded Western Conference playoff picture.  

Watch the matchup LIVE at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, and the TSN App.

James (left ankle peroneal tendinopathy) and Davis (left knee hyperextension) are questionable heading into the matchup as they’ve been for many of L.A.’s games during the second half of the season.

Complicating matters is the Lakers’ schedule. James and Davis play a back-to-back Wednesday in Washington, opening up the possibility of injury management that would end up holding one – or both – of the Laker superstars out Wednesday.

On the other hand, the Lakers need all the wins they can get. They head into play Tuesday at 42-33 and ninth in the West, which would put them smack in the middle of the in the play-in tournament.

The Lakers are three games out of sixth, which would guarantee them a spot in the first-round of the playoffs, but also two and a half games out of 11th, which would leave them out of the playoffs altogether. If the season ended today, the Lakers would need to win two games in a row to qualify for the postseason. Put another way; the Lakers should have every motivation to take care of business Tuesday night.

It’s easy to look past the Raptors considering how they’ve played lately. The Raptors have lost their previous two games by a combined 59 points and have dropped eight games on their 13-game skid by double digits.

A lot has to do with availability. The Raptors have been without Scottie Barnes (broken hand), Jakob Poeltl (torn hand ligament), Immanuel Quickley (personal reasons) and RJ Barrett (personal) for much of their skid. Couple those absences with the departures of Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby in trades and head coach Darko Rajakovic is left with a roster virtually unrecognizable from what they started the season with.

Barrett and Quickley, who were each dealing with the deaths of beloved family members, were each upgraded to probable for Tuesday’s game. Barrett’s younger brother, Nathan, died on March 14 and Quickley lost his uncle Shawn Hamilton nearly a week later. Both players have since returned to the team after taking leaves of absences.

“It's great. Not only just RJ — RJ is obviously my guy — but the whole team," Quickley said Monday after practice. "This organization has been great since the first day I got here.

"Just to be able to share the court with those guys has been a blessing. Look forward to it.”

Rajakovic said Monday he’s looking forward to having Quickley back on the court.

"For me, more than anything, it's about team growth, individual growth to end the season on a good note here," said Rajakovic. "He had a really rough stretch here the last couple of weeks, lost somebody very close to him, and just getting him on the court, playing basketball, is a big plus for him and us."

With the playoffs long out of the picture, attention shifts to this summer’s draft – particularly the conditional first-round pick Toronto traded to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Poeltl two trade deadlines ago. The Raps currently own the sixth-worst record in the NBA but that pick goes to the Spurs if the Raptors draw the seventh pick or later in the May 12 draft lottery.

And of course, there’s the losing streak. Four more losses would tie the franchise record and five would establish a new one. Based on the Raptors’ schedule over the next five games, history – and not the good kind – is in play.

After their matchup with the Lakers Tuesday, the Raptors play road games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks, two of the top teams in the Association. Their best chance for a win may come at home on Sunday against the Washington Wizards (14-61). If not then, their next game is against Siakam and the Indiana Pacers at home the following Tuesday.