Lakers swamp Raptors

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:56 AM ET

The Raptors held Kobe Bryant in check, but that was about all that went right for the home team.

From a team-wide pathetic shooting performance to a second-half letdown defensively, just about every other aspect of Toronto's game fell apart in a 102-91 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The sad part was the 13-point difference actually flattered the Raptors.

Coming hot on the heels off an encouraging road trip which saw the Raps win two of three -- with the loss coming in overtime -- last night's result was that much more disheartening.

"We missed a lot of layups," rookie forward Charlie Villaneuva said in the understatement of the night. "We missed a lot of shots period. The guys got a little bit discouraged and we forgot to play defence."

That, in a nutshell, was the game.

The Raps shot just 41% from the field, a number that was inflated by a late surge when the game already was out of reach.

The Lakers, meanwhile, had only two of their nine players with over seven minutes of playing time shoot under 50%. As a team they finished the night with a 53.8% success rate.

Chris Bosh, who led the Raptors with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season, clearly is tiring of these types of efforts from his club.

"It's the same old thing," Bosh said, well past the point of trying to put a good spin on a bad result. "It gets old, and once it starts getting old with everyone we should start playing better. Once we get tired of the fans booing us, once we get tired of being down by 20 at home, once we get tired of those things that's when I think things will kick in."

But like everyone else in that dressing room, Bosh has no idea when that time finally will come.

Bryant was a mere shadow of his former self, attempting just 12 shots while distributing the ball like a true point guard.

To Bryant's credit, he realized early on he was going to have plenty of double-team attention and got into the giving mood of the holiday season by handing out a game-high nine assists.

The scoring duties were handled by Lamar Odom and Smush Parker. Odom finishing the night with a team-high 19 while Parker settled for a second-best 15.

Off the bench, the Lakers got solid contributions from both Luke Walton and Laron Profit, both of whom hit double digits.

The Lakers reserves outscored the Raptors' bench 44-27.

The result was particularly stinging for head coach Sam Mitchell, who was starting to finally see some positives from his club.

"Atlanta played well and we beat them," Mitchell said.

"We played a really good game in New Jersey and an excellent game the other night (in Washington). To come home and play like this ... for whatever reason we can't seem to get over the hump at home. But like I told our guys, we've got 30 or 31 more at home so we have to figure it out."

The sooner the better.


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