Raptors begin trip against Lakers sans DeRozan

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors will be without their leader DeMar DeRozan for some time and will try to stay together when they open a three- game western trek Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

DeRozan is out with a groin injury and suffered a tear of the left adductor longus tendon in Friday's 106-102 loss versus the Dallas Mavericks. DeRozan fell to the floor on a drive to the basket in the third quarter and leads the Raptors with 19.4 points per game.

Kyle Lowry had 25 points and Amir Johnson contributed 20 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who still have an Eastern Conference-best 13-3 record this season and had a six-game winning streak come to an end.

"It was a tough game," Johnson said. "We fought back and had a chance down the stretch."

Jonas Valanciunas had eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Patrick Patterson ended with 10 points and 12 boards in the loss.

The Raptors turned the ball over 17 times for 22 Dallas points.

Toronto, which is 7-0 this season against teams under. 500, has a 4-1 ledger on the road and will also make stops in Sacramento and Utah. It is second in the NBA with 107.6 ppg and 11-0 when leading after three quarters.

Lowry is averaging 23.0 points, 6.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds in five road games this season.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are a putrid 1-8 at home this season and 3-13 overall.

Los Angeles will close out a four-game homestand Sunday and has lost four in a row and eight of its last 10 games, including Friday's 120-119 decision to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thaddeus Young made the go-ahead free throw with 2.8 seconds left and Kobe Bryant misfired at the buzzer.

Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer with 26.4 ppg, ended with 26 points on 10- of-18 shooting to go along with five assists and five rebounds. Wesley Johnson scored 19 points, Jeremy Lin added 18 and 11 assists, and Nick Young scored 16 points off the bench.

The Lakers, losers in five straight at home, shot 53.9 percent and turned the ball over 14 times for 20 Minnesota points. The Wolves made 57 percent from the floor.

"Lack of focus. It's as simple as that," Lakers coach Byron Scott said. "We looked at them like they were inferior to us. We made some bonehead plays on both ends of the floor."

In nine home games this season, Lin is averaging 14.1 points, 5.7 assists and shooting 50 percent from the field.

Bryant (32,122 points) is approaching Michael Jordan (32,292 points) for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

LA will play three straight and six of its next eight games on the road.

The Lakers are trying to improve to 3-0 against Eastern Conference foes this season with the Raptors in town. They are last in opponents' scoring with 111.4 points allowed and split two meetings with Toronto last season.

Los Angeles is 10-3 in the past 13 matchups with Toronto, which snapped a 10- game road losing streak in this series with a 106-94 win last Dec. 8.

The Raptors are 3-14 in the past 17 games at the Lakers.