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SportsVintage Lowry not quite enough for Raptors in opener

14:50  16 may  2019
14:50  16 may  2019 Source:

Lowry knows Kawhi needs support: 'He's doing everything he can'

Lowry knows Kawhi needs support: 'He's doing everything he can' Kawhi Leonard put the Toronto Raptors on his back in the third quarter in Game 3 against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting to bring his team to within striking distance heading into the final frame. But with Leonard on the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Sixers went on a 9-0 scoring run to put the game to bed. Raptors guard Kyle Lowry took sole responsibility for being unable to assist his teammate. "We've got to help him," Lowry told ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "I was literally saying it during the game. We have to help him.

MILWAUKEE—Kyle Lowry arrived at the arena here Wednesday with a funny looking blue oven mitt thing on his left hand and said he hadn’t really touched a basketball since Sunday, when he banged up his thumb in Game 7 against Philadelphia.

“It’s why we have shootaround,” he said. “Mind over matter on some things, and we’ll tape it up and get it ready to go.”

Seemed to work.

Lowry shrugged off any semblance of discomfort with his thumb or the time it cost him in the gym since the Sixers series ended and came up with a gem here in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.

Bucks rally to take Game 1 from Raptors

Bucks rally to take Game 1 from Raptors Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat the Toronto.

Hitting a career playoff-high seven three-pointers, Lowry had 30 points in Toronto’s 108-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum.

But it was a wasted effort in the end. The Bucks rattled off 10 straight points in the final 21/2 minutes to complete a late-game comeback.

The result will not faze Lowry in the least because the Raptors point guard is not hard-wired to ever get too excited or too crushed, or to read too much into one single basketball game. But given his play — he had seven rebounds to go with his scoring — there will be a feeling of opportunity lost by the Raptors.

Brook Lopez was the difference as the veteran Bucks centre poured in 29 points to lead Milwaukee. Toronto will feel cheated that they lost when they held Giannis Antetokoumpo to just 24 points and wasted a 31-point game from Kawhi Leonard.

Best bets, player props to consider for Raptors-Bucks Game 2

Best bets, player props to consider for Raptors-Bucks Game 2 Here are the best bets and player props to consider for Raptors-Bucks. Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks Line: Bucks -6.5 Total: 216 The Raptors were on the brink of stealing the opener in Milwaukee. Then the Bucks' late fourth-quarter surge resulted in Toronto failing to cover the 6.5 points the team was getting. After recording 100 points in Game 1, the Raptors are still struggling to score on the road in the playoffs. They're averaging just 100.3 points per game away from home. Neither team's offense was particularly solid on Wednesday. The Raptors shot 37 percent from the floor, and Milwaukee was only slightly better at 39.8 percent.

Lowry had been held in check during the regular season by the Bucks, averaging a paltry 6.3 points per game on just 23 per cent shooting from the field, brutal numbers for the five-time all-star.

“The one game I missed a lot of shots and they forced (the ball out of my hands) I think Serge (Ibaka) shot like 20-something times that game and that was their game plan. The other couple, I just didn’t play well.

“That stuff doesn’t matter, that’s regular season.”

That’s they way Lowry operates now and forever. He is hugely demonstrative during games, frantically gesturing when things go poorly, exhorting his teammates when games are going well.

But he’s also got the ability to focus solely on the task at hand, to not let defeats of the past rankle him or recent success go to his head.

It was pointed out to him Wednesday morning that he had plenty of post-season run-ins with these Bucks, with Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill and maybe that would have something to do with Wednesday’s result?

Lowry: Nothing to be done about thumb until off-season except play through pain

Lowry: Nothing to be done about thumb until off-season except play through pain MILWAUKEE — Kyle Lowry will be playing in pain for the rest of the post-season. Whether the Raptors' thrilling playoff run ends against Milwaukee, or Toronto goes on to make its first appearance in the NBA Finals in franchise history, the point guard said the pain will be a constant companion. "I will not be able to get it taken care of until after the season's over," Lowry said at Thursday morning's shootaround. The 33-year-old Lowry injured the thumb during Game 7 of the conference semifinals against Philadelphia when he fell on it and it "popped out." He's since been wearing a blue compression glove — his "oven mitt" as he calls it — that helps with circulation.

“Nothing,” he said. “It’s a different year, different playoffs, different game. It’s a new series.

“It’s zero-zero in the series and everything’s different. Every game will be different, everything in the past is gone, everything we’ve done, they’ve done doesn’t matter. Now it’s about (Game 1) and get ready to go.”

The Bucks also weren’t going to put too much weight on Lowry’s regular season and had augmented their backcourt defence by the addition of George Hill at the trade deadline. It wasn’t done with Lowry specifically in mind, but it couldn’t hurt.

“I mean, it’s such a small sample size,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. “There’s so many different things that happen in the regular season, it is important. We look at it. We watch the film.

“To be honest with you, I have no idea if what you said is even true. But we’ll continue to guard him and do our best and just see how it goes.”

It didn’t go well against Lowry for the Bucks, but Lopez’s startling production — he took a team-high 21 shots, including 11 three-pointers — was the difference.

The Bucks maintained their grip on homecourt advantage with the win and will remain oddsmaker’s favourites. That, too, doesn’t bother Lowry.

“Nothing matters but getting wins, noting matters about who says what or what happens,” he said. “You gotta go out there and lace ’em up and play basketball. To me, it’s the playoffs, there’s four of us, four teams left, and we’re all pretty good.”

Doug Smith is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @smithraps

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Kyle Lowry Can't Feel His Thumb and That's Kind of a Big Problem.
Kyle Lowry is the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference champion Toronto Raptors. One prerequisite for point guards starting in the NBA finals is the ability to be at least a proficient shooter and a solid passer. Well, if the report that Lowry cannot feel his thumb is indeed true, those actions would be hard to complete in Thursday's NBA Finals opener. Soooo...Kyle Lowry came on #TheJump and says he can’t feel his thumb when he’s playing right now. He also said he still speaks to DeMar DeRozan every day, and DeRozan is rooting for the Raptors in the Finals https://t.

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