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(Sunday, December 8th)
Final Score: Toronto 106, LA Lakers 94
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors spoiled Kobe Bryant's season debut by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 106-94 on Sunday.
Bryant played his first game since April 12, when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors.
Bryant had nine points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in the loss. The future Hall of Famer averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game in 78 tilts last season.
"My rhythm is completely out of sync," Bryant said. "But this is a start, and I guess a start is good."
Amir Johnson ended with 32 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had lost 10 straight against the Lakers in Los Angeles. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry tallied 26 and 23 points, respectively.
Toronto snapped its five-game losing streak despite playing without forward Rudy Gay, who is expected to be traded to the Sacramento Kings on Monday as the key part of an apparent seven-player deal.
"We knew we were down because half our team got traded, so our mindset was just to go out there and play hard and win this game," Johnson said. "It was real emotional. It happened to us last year in Atlanta, too. We talked to those guys, and Rudy was still at the hotel, so we called him in and told him how much we all appreciated what they did for this team and the city."
Nick Young had 19 points for the Lakers, who fell to 10-10 on the season. Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks donated 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Bryant made his presence felt on the Lakers' first possession of the game, finding Robert Sacre underneath the hoop for an assist.
Bryant's first shot came less than two minutes in, but it hit nothing but air.
Meanwhile, the Raptors jumped out to a 15-4 lead. The margin reached 13 and the visitors took a 30-20 edge into the second quarter.
Bryant hit a free throw for his first point midway through the second quarter, followed shortly by a bank shot.
Los Angeles outscored Toronto by a 27-21 margin in the second frame to get within 51-47 at the half.
But the Raptors scored the first six points of the third stanza to build a 10-point lead. Toronto led 73-68 after three quarters.
The Lakers cut the gap to four, 89-85, with 4:50 to play, but the Raptors responded with six straight points to make it a double-digit game again.
Toronto's last road victory in this series came on Dec. 28, 2001 ... Terrence Ross banked in a 53-footer at the first-quarter buzzer.
12/09 01:45:29 ET