The Raptors have been very cautious with Leonard in the early going, and Nurse already had told ESPN after Friday's game in Phoenix that Leonard would be sitting out one half of the team's back-to-backs indefinitely, having already sat out one half in each of Toronto's first two this season.
The Raptors have also garnered attention on the National Basketball Association championship odds during their hot start, moving past the Lakers and Houston Rockets to trail only the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics as a +900 wager on those National Basketball Association futures.
The Lakers suffered a 121-107 home loss, despite their opponents being without injured star man Kawhi Leonard.
After their reported meeting, Johnson said Walton would remain head coach for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season unless something "drastic" happened. It will be interesting to see how the Raptors move forward, though, especially if Toronto is able to compile yet another victory without the team's best player on the court.
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For James, playing in the Lakers' Sunday whites for the first time, it was a reminder of a dark day in his final season with the Miami Heat when his team also was outscored by 25, 43-18, in the first quarter on January 15, 2014. "But they competed throughout the whole game".
"We tried to explain that that's part of how this works, but it doesn't seem like we took that to heart", Walton said.
"You still learn from it", James said. The Jazz lead increased to seven or eight at several different points, but every time it did, Toronto managed to claw back into the game.
Toronto took a 71-49 lead into halftime. "We just have to be better, and that was it". "But you never let the outside noise get to you - and if you do that, that can cause problems".