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Game Thread: Toronto Raptors @ Los Angeles Lakers

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Toronto finishes up a difficult back-to-back against a Lakers team looking for some late season roster consistency. Let’s watch.

Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

As we more or less accept that the Toronto Raptors’ season is winding down, there’s been plenty of taking stock of this strange year and all the challenges it’s brought with it. The goalposts continue to move for the final eight games as well. Nick Nurse has said he wants to give the end-of-bench guys some more run, especially youngsters like Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris, while ensuring his stars don’t run up against long-term injuries.

That’s the thinking behind the major Raptors news tonight, as both Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby are sitting out the tail end of Toronto’s back-to-back, once again for maintenance to injuries suffered a few weeks back. In their places, Malachi Flynn and Stanley Johnson will start.

All is not hopeless, though, if you still believe this Raptors team can sneak up on the Bulls and Wizards and get into the ten seed (they’re two games back as of writing this). It’s not like the standings competition are world-beaters, anyway. Their opponent tonight, though, may very well be when the dust settles on the 2021 playoffs, as the Lakers will once again be many people’s favourites to win a second title in as many years.

Tonight, their injury report is a bit of a mess, with seven statuses up in the air leading up to this 10 p.m. start. The biggest news is that LeBron James will play, while Alex Caruso is also in and Dennis Schröder is out due to health and safety protocols.

For a full setup of tonight’s game, check out this morning’s preview from Satbir Singh. Here are the details.

Where to Watch

Sportsnet One, 10 PM ET

Lineups

Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Malachi Flynn, Stanley Johnson, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch

Los Angeles — Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond

Injuries

Toronto — Fred VanVleet (injury recovery — OUT), OG Anunoby (injury recovery — OUT), Chris Boucher (knee – OUT), Paul Watson (knee – OUT), Gary Trent Jr. (leg contusion – OUT)

Los Angeles — Jared Dudley (knee — OUT), Dennis Schröder (calf — OUT)