Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic

The Morning Dunk: Rajakovic Blasts Officiating After Loss To Lakers

Here's hoping you're having a more pleasant start to your day than the Toronto Raptors' head coach.

And how could you not, because you're checking out today's edition of The Morning Dunk featuring all of the best NBA news and highlights from an eventful Tuesday evening.

Rajakovic sends blunt message to NBA Officials 

A completely outrageous and one-sided free-throw disparity sent Darko Rajakovic off the deep end.

The Raptors head coach blasted the officiating crew following his team's 132-131 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena. Los Angeles went to the charity stripe 23 times in the fourth quarter, aided by a few intentional fouls, while Toronto only attempted two free throws during the final 12 minutes.

Toronto shot more efficiently (56.4 FG% to 54.3 FG%), had more points in the paint (70 to 50), had more points off of turnovers (28 to 15), and converted nine more total shots than the Lakers in defeat. Four different players (Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Pascal Siakam, and Immanuel Quickley) had 20 or more points while each shooting over 55 percent from the field for the Raptors, marking the sixth time in league history that's ever happened for a team that's lost.

The Raptors still managed to cover as the five-point underdogs, improving to 6-2 ATS in their last eight games. The Lakers are now 1-8 across their last nine home games when Toronto comes to town.

Depleted Grizzlies Stun Mavericks

No Ja Morant. No Jaren Jackson Jr. No Santi Aldama. No problem, apparently.

Just days after it was revealed that Morant would miss the rest of the 2023-24 campaign to undergo shoulder surgery, on top of other key absences, the remaining Memphis Grizzlies stepped up and shocked the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center with a blowout 120-103 win.

Desmond Bane carried the scoring load with 32 points, while Marcus Smart contributed 23 points of his own before exiting with a dislocated finger. Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic had 33 and 31 points, respectively, for Dallas.

Memphis' win was all the more sweeter considering they entered the matchup as the massive 9.5-point underdogs while extending its winning streak SU to three games. Dallas' three-game winning streak SU was also snapped as a result.

Anunoby Embraced By Knicks Fans In Win

The O.G. Anunoby era in the Big Apple couldn't have possibly gotten off to a better start.

The New York Knicks are now a perfect 5-0 since acquiring Anunoby from the Raptors after taking care of the Portland Trail Blazers 112-84 at Madison Square Garden. Anunoby, who received chants of his name from fans in attendance, had a game-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

He's the first player in NBA history with a plus-minus of at least +100 through his first five games with a new franchise. 

The Knicks have successfully covered the spread in five of their last six games after handling the lowly Trail Blazers as the 13.5-point favorites. This recent success has vaulted New York to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 22-15 record SU.

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