Raptors Tipoff

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

MARQUEE MATCHUP

DeMar DeRozan vs. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant doesn't lose well and coming in with three in a row under his belt and suggestions from within his own dressing room that he's trying to do it all on his own aren't going to make things better. With anyone else, the tendency might be to become less of a volume shooter but with an accomplished veteran like Bryant, the more likely scenario is he goes after his 81-point mark. DeMar DeRozan is also highly motivated for this game. He appears to have put that talk about a rookie wall behind him and would like nothing better than to come home and show his family and friends how far he has come in less than a season in the NBA.

SCOUTING REPORT

As ridiculous as it sounds, the Lakers three-game losing skid, their first of such length since Pau Gasol became a Laker, has people wondering if the Lakers are in trouble. Yeah, right. Even with the three losses, the Lakers lead in the Western Conference is still three games clear of their nearest rival while the only team with a better record in the NBA is Cleveland, who have a three-game edge on L.A. ... Ron Artest dyed his hair yellow and had defence inscribed in it in three different languages before Sunday's game in Orlando. He then went out and gave up 25 points to Vince Carter in a loss.

DID YOU KNOW

The Lakers most successful night of the week just happens to be Tuesday's when they own a 13-1 record ... The Raps have defeated L.A. twice at the Staples Centre in their history. The Lakers have won the other 11. The last Toronto victory against the Lakers in the City of Angels came during the 2001 season in an 89-86 win ... So far this season the Raps have outscored the Lakers on a per night basis by two points but give up almost nine points a night more than the Lakers.


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