LeBron James Publicly Backs Luke Walton

Game Preview Raptors vs Suns        Holly Mac Kenzie

Game Preview Raptors vs Suns Holly Mac Kenzie

You always just stay even keel when you come in for games or you come in for practices and you're going for film sessions, you get better then.

Leonard, who left the Raptors' game against the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter on Friday night and didn't play on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers, reportedly tested his ankle with a brief appearance in the shootaround but was ruled out with persistent left ankle soreness about 90 minutes before tipoff.

There were two keys to this blowout.

Lowry came up with his ninth-straight game with 10 or more assists, putting up 11.

The Raptors raced out to that big first quarter exploiting two things: Brandon Ingram could not keep up with Danny Green as he came off multiple picks, and the Raptors would run a pick-and-pop with JaVale McGee's man setting the pick because he could/would not come out and contest. There's games like this in an 82-game season where you just don't have it.

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"Second, third and fourth, we played Lakers basketball", James said.

Leonard could decline his 2019-20 player option and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If Leonard sits out Sunday he will miss his one and only game against the Lakers at Staples Center - a team he was rumoured to be interested in joining in the off-season. Luke Walton had a young, scrappy Lakers team playing solid defense last season (12th in the league) but right now, despite athleticism and some length on the roster, the communication, recognition, and flat-out effort are not there.

Leonard missed the game with a sore left foot which no doubt had the Lakers breathing a sigh of relief. Booker had 14 points in the final frame. The 27-year-old is averaging 26.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting an efficient 50.4 percent from the field.

"A couple guys would jump over him, and he'd lay it in".

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