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Raptors beat Lakers, clinch second straight division title

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors clinched their second straight Atlantic Division title, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 94-83 on Friday night behind 18 points from Lou Williams and 19 from Jonas Valanciunas.

James Johnson had 17 points, Amir Johnson 11 and Terrence Ross 10 as the Raptors snapped a two-game skid and beat the Lakers for the first time since Dec. 8, 2013.

Jeremy Lin scored 18 points and Jordan Clarkson had 14 for the Lakers, who lost for the 11th time in 14 games.

Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan scored six points, making just one of his 10 field goal attempts and missing a dunk in the fourth quarter, but he had 10 rebounds and seven assists, both team highs.

James Johnson scored four points as Toronto put the game away with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter. Johnson started the spurt with a fadeaway jumper, DeRozan and Williams both added jump shots and Tyler Hansbrough made one of two from the line before Johnson connected from the corner, putting Toronto up 87-72 with 5:17 remaining.

Hansbrough was later called for a flagrant-1 foul after he pulled Tarik Black down from behind as the two fought for a rebound. The two players exchanged a high five after the whistle.

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry sat for the fourth time in five games with a sore back. Coach Dwane Casey said there’s no timetable for Lowry’s return.

Toronto missed six straight shots during an 8-0 Lakers run in the opening quarter as Los Angeles built a 24-17 lead after one, boosted by 10 points from Lin. The Lakers also benefited from seven offensive rebounds in the first.

Valanciunas scored nine points in the second as Toronto closed the gap, but the Lakers held a 48-46 lead at halftime.

Held scoreless in the first half, Ross had 10 points in the third, including two of Toronto’s four 3-pointers, as the Raptors took a 71-66 lead into the fourth. The Lakers missed 12 of 17 field goal attempts in the third.



Lakers: Coach Byron Scott returned after missing the previous two games following his mother’s death. … Lin started despite having a respiratory infection. … The Lakers have never lost the season series against the Raptors.

Raptors: In its final night of 20th anniversary celebrations, Toronto paid tribute to former GM Isiah Thomas and the team’s six founders. Thomas received a huge ovation when he and the other original owners were honored on the court during a second quarter timeout. “It’s great to come back and see this,” Thomas said of Toronto’s rise from expansion team to division champions playing in front of regular sellout crowds.


Lakers: Visit Nets Knicks on Sunday afternoon.

Raptors: Host Rockets on Monday night.

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