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LeBron James criticized for going to Diddy's party after latest Lakers loss

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Kawhi Leonard Raptors

If there was a mercy rule in basketball the Lakers would have exercised it in the first.

The Lakers got smoked by the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night - andLeBron James didn't exactly play great - but he was still in the mood to party afterward. He lost his starting job 13 games into the season last year thanks to an injury and the subsequent breakout of OG Anunoby but had seemingly left those struggles behind early this year.

Lakers coach Luke Walton said a star's absence, as counterintuitive as it might sound, can actually help that player's team in the short term. "I don't think we've decided how long that's gonna be yet".

After the Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night, James gave credit to Walton and the coaching staff for putting the team in position to win.

Walton said he warned the Lakers that overlooking the Raptors sans Leonard would be unsafe. Ibaka has reached double digits in points in 10 straight games, before fouling out at the nine minute mark of the fourth quarter.

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.

It's impressive. The Suns and Booker really want him to be an All-Star guard this season, and if he were in the East I'd say "done deal", but in the West - Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell - it's tough to crack the club.

It didn't matter. The Raptors (9-1) came out hot and led the Lakers 42-17 after one quarter and 71-49 at the half.

"I thought we came out of the gate with a lot of good energy", Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "We're going to watch film and that nature but you don't put too much into it".

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