TORONTO (AP) — Nick Young says the Los Angeles Lakers have woken up since airing some grievances at a team meeting last week.
Young returned from suspension to score 29 points, Pau Gasol had 22 and the Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 112-106 on Sunday, just their third win in 15 games.
"Nick's been doing it all year and he just keeps going," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Young was suspended for Friday's victory at Boston after he was ejected for throwing a punch at Phoenix's Goran Dragic in a loss last Wednesday. Rested and refreshed, Young scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers overcame a 19-point first-half deficit. They won back-to-back games for the first time since beating Memphis on Dec. 17 and Minnesota on Dec. 20.
Los Angeles held a team meeting before Friday's game to address Young's ejection, and suggestions that his teammates had not done enough to stand up for him after a hard foul by Suns center Alex Len. Young called the meeting "a turning point" in what's been a dismal season so far.
"We had an altercation that woke us all up and we're out there battling with each other now," Young said. "Now we're just laying it out there."
Ryan Kelly scored 17 in his first career start and Kendall Marshall had 10 points and 11 assists.
Kelly said Friday's meeting underscored a "lack of urgency" in both the team's response to Len's foul on Young, and the Lakers' play in general.
"That was carrying over into the game, a lack of urgency to get back on defense, a lack of urgency to rebound and things like that," Kelly said. "When we saw that on tape, that's the one thing it did for us is to make us realize that on every play, every possession, we have to have that sense of urgency."
The Lakers reached the midway point of the season with a record of 16-25.
"It's really gratifying to win back-to-back games on the road, especially with the way we've been struggling," Gasol said. "I'm just really proud of the guys. They're stepping up, they're bringing the effort, bringing the intensity, bringing the focus and not wanting to give up."
Long-term injuries to Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant have made life rough on the Lakers, but they haven't given up on a playoff push.
"If we keep plugging along, maybe we'll get some luck here and get some guys back," D'Antoni said.
With Bryant sidelined by a sore left knee, Kelly said Young has become the player the Lakers turn to when the shot clock is winding down.