The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 121-107 loss on Sunday night to the Toronto Raptors — a team that LeBron James says is standing out in his former conference.
“They’re playing like they’re the best team in the Eastern Conference so far,” James said of the Raptors. “They came out and just hit us right in the mouth. It’s very very hard to make a game out of it when you start like that and expend so much energy trying to get back into it.”
The Lakers had an extremely slow start to the game, as they trailed by a score of 41-17 after one quarter. Though they played better basketball as the game went on, they were never able to overcome that slow start.
“Second, third and fourth, we played Lakers basketball,” James said. “The first quarter we just came out sluggish and looked like [we were on] a back-to-back, like we got in late. And they put it on us.”
James said his Lakers could’ve played better in certain areas against the Raptors, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
“There are a lot of things we could have done better,” James said. “At the point of attack we allowed them to get where they wanted to go, however they wanted to go to start the game. And they got into a comfort zone. When you get into a comfort zone early like that, shots are going to fall.”
James said that the team will use the loss as a learning experience.
“You still learn from it,” James said. “We going to watch some film and things of that nature. You don’t put too much into it. There’s games like this in an 82-game season where you just don’t have it. We had it in spurts but for 48 minutes we didn’t have it.”
James’ Lakers are one of the top topics of conversation across the league’s landscape this season, and their slow start (4-6 after 10 games) has only added fuel to the fire when it comes to the attention they receive. However, the superstar knows that the Lakers have to do their best to ignore the external noise.
“For me and what I’ve experienced in this league, I’ve tried to stay even keeled,” James said. “Just as bad as you can play for a month you’re going to round out a great month or two. You don’t look too much into it. You always just stay even keel when you come in for games or you come in for practices and you’re going for film sessions, you get better then. But you never let the outside noise get to you and if you do that, that can cause you problems.”
You can see James’ comments below, via Spectrum SportsNet:
The Lakers have a couple days to regroup after the loss to the Raptors, as their next game comes on Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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