A Brief History of Kyle Lowry and Game Two

Paola Ditto
Апреля 17, 2019

Over the next 47 minutes, Lowry would tack on another 21 points, and Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 37, as the Raptors roared back with a dominant 111-82 victory to square the first-round series at 1-1.

"That is [Lowry] at his finest", Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Leonard finished with 37 points (on 15-for-22 shooting), four rebounds, four assists and two steals - his 15 made field goals are a new postseason career-high. "He was doing it all". After winning Game 1 on Augustin's late-game dagger, they didn't want to get embarrassed in Game 2 and allow the Raptors to get their mojo back. On Tuesday night, the Raptors executed that design to perfection with snappy ball reversals and relentless penetration resulting in either close-range shots or kickouts to open shooters.

Following his Game 1 performance, Kyle Lowry was under severe scrutiny from basketball minds everywhere.

Monday, Siakam said the key to that would be getting off to a better start - being prepared for the Magic to come out hot and knowing how to respond on the defensive end.

While he didn't put up any points, the 33-year-old only needed two more assists and three more rebounds to complete the double-double (he writes with a cheeky smile). If this performance is a sign of things to come, the Raptors have plenty to be optimistic about. Leonard delivered a reminder tonight - he's a top-three player and this is why Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster risked everything to get him. He left the game to a standing ovation, just as Leonard did. "Just reading angles, reading the backside of the defense". He didn't, and it's not, which is why the Raptors need to play better Tuesday and demonstrate why they've been the superior team since October. In the middle, the Magic went on a 30-7 run and looked like they were pulling off an overwhelming upset. "If I do - just pass it". His zero-point outing in the Raptors' home loss was the bud of many jokes and the pressure was on to step up in Game 2.

Gasol is another case study in how the Raptors can dice up opponents this spring through smarts and precision.

"(It was) just all of us buying in", Leonard said. Both were emotional touchstones Tuesday night.

The press conference table at the Raptors' practice facility was missing on Monday, and so the point guard took a seat and leaned back against a wall to address reporters, clutching the mic in one hand.

"I went 3-for-14", he said. As good as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been in years past, Leonard's facility in creating efficient offense for himself is on another tier, giving the team a dimension they haven't had before. And you can find them in so many places. A flurry of scoring from Aaron Gordon kept the Magic from fading out in the first quarter but they still managed just 18 points in the first quarter and 39 in the first half. Augustin and the rest of the Orlando ball handlers. "That's a decision you make when you're watching the game, and that's where the (minutes) numbers to me, they go out the window".

"It wasn't flipping the switch, it was more being locked in on every coverage, everything we wanted to do, just being on the same page and communication", Lowry said. This was an encouraging sign, not because his ensuing trip to the free throw line ensured Lowry wouldn't go scoreless, as he did in the series opener, but because it revealed his mentality. The Playoff Raptors, the absolute measure of all of the team's tinkering since a second consecutive premature ouster? His impact on the game was terrific for them.

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