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An injured LeBron James speaks as the Los Angeles Lakers win NBA | sports

LeBron James sent a message of encouragement to his Los Angeles Lakers teammates as they pulled off a decisive 122-112 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. Despite James’ injury, the Lakers continued to roll and are firmly in the playoffs as they defeated the Raptors with a failed Anthony Davis performance.

The Lakers earned their third consecutive win despite a poor performance from Davis, who shot four-for-seven from the field at Arena. Davis finished with just eight points in 33 minutes, adding a good nine rebounds and four blocks.

In the end, D’Angelo Russell was the hero for Los Angeles as he led the way with 28 points and nine assists in his return from injury after missing the last six games. The 27-year-old struck out five times and shot 10-for-17 from the floor to lead the Lakers to Toronto.

After a poor performance in the third quarter that saw the home team score just 15 points, the Lakers embarked on a winning run in the final quarter. Los Angeles scored 37 points while the Raptors only managed 15.

Read more: Toronto Raptors superstar launches foul rant about NBA umpires

Dennis Schroeder, Austin Reeves and Rui Hachimura all contributed to the win with 23, 18 and 16 points off the bench respectively while Jared Vanderbilt – who added a much needed defensive hustle – was the only other player besides Russell with double digits in scoring. Where he added 16 points. After the match, James took to Twitter to post: “Man I LOVE THIS TEAM!!!”

James is still out indefinitely with a foot injury, but it’s promising the Lakers can pick up wins with their superstar absent, and Davis struggles to score. The team made several deals ahead of the NBA trade deadline, with a key trade seeing Russell, Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley join the Lakers in a move that sent former player Russell Westbrook out of town.

Meanwhile, Scotty Barnes and OG Anunobi scored 32 and 31 points, respectively, while Jacob Boltel added 17 points in defeat. When Pascal Siakam scored 12, Fred VanVleet was the only Raptors player not to hit double digits in scoring as he managed just eight points.


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