Champion Raptors restart with 11th straight win over Lakers

Through Donovan Mitchell’s eyes NBA’s perilous complicated glorious return

NBA teams bowed their heads and knelt during the playing of the USA national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts on Thursday as the league returned for the first time since the coronavirus halted play in March with two thrilling games.

The Raptors and Lakers kneeled for both anthems.

Thursday's doubleheader, which also featured a close encounter in between the Utah Jazz and also the New Orleans Pelicans, racked up an average audience of 2.9 million viewers throughout TNT and TV Everywhere platforms, which represents an increase of 109% over the average viewership for an National Basketball Association game this season, which stood at 1.4 million viewers prior to the pandemic hiatus. The Lakers managed 4 of 18 on 3-point attempts compared to 5 of 19 for the Raptors in the first half.

Kyle Lowry scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lift the defending National Basketball Association champion Toronto Raptors over the Los Angeles Lakers 107-92 in a showdown of title contenders Saturday. Linking arms in a line behind the words "Black Lives Matter" on the court, the Raptors changed knees in unison between "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "O Canada", a powerful message of togetherness.

Athletes from around the world have united behind anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

They're front and centre at the NBA's restart.

The players have been permitted to substitute their name on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages, picking from a couple dozen drawn up by the league. "So we treat that as one long song", Nurse said.

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James meanwhile said there would be no let up in player activism. To me, this is about continuing to shine a light on how we need to do better in the police brutality area, we need to do better in systemic racism area.

Marcus Morris played the most minutes.

LeBron James had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists while Anthony Davis had a rare anonymous night for him, as the Lakers leading scorer was held to just 14 points after posting a game-high 34 points in their win against the Clippers.

Florida has emerged as one of the worst-hit COVID-19 hotspots in the United States, with cases and fatalities skyrocketing in recent weeks. "We did some good things, just didn't capitalize".

The NBA bubble looks like its still intact with the league reporting zero positive test results in its latest round of tests.

Players are required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and the ability to enter and exit the secure zone is subject to stringent regulations.

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