Kyle Lowry Pours in 33 Points to Lift Toronto Raptors 101-93 Over Utah Jazz
Toronto – Toronto Raptors’ first home game in 16 days played out quite a bit like the first contest of its tough six-game road swing.
Though this game wasn’t in Utah, the Jazz once again were the opponents and the Raptors rode another brilliant fourth quarter Kyle Lowry performance to another victory over a solid Western Conference opponent, 101-93.
At Utah, Lowry had gone off for 19 in the final frame. This time, he erupted for 16, one shy of his total over the first three quarters of a game the Jazz had led by as many as 11 points and seemed to make every big play at either end of the floor.
“If there’s a loose ball down there he’s like a little pit bull. He’s been like that since high school,” head coach Dwane Casey said.
“That’s not going to change. He took over down the stretch.”
He sure did, and it was much-needed.
The Raptors began the game a bit off-kilter, allowing the visitors to score at will. Casey had joked beforehand that the long absence had thrown them off. “I almost forgot which way to go, what door to go into. It’s been such a long time,” Casey said. When it was over, his tune had not changed.
“I’ll say this again, our schedule is brutal. Tonight was like a road game. The guys were in a malaise.”
DeMar DeRozan was certainly among that group. DeRozan had a tough night, shooting just 8-for-26 from the field, but made two big buckets in the fourth and got a lot of help from Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas, as the Raptors improved to 24-11.
Lowry finished with 33 points, six rebounds and five assists. Shelvin Mack led the Jazz with 17, with most coming in a first half that actually saw him better Lowry.
Toronto missed Patrick Patterson, who sat out a third consecutive game due to a sore knee, but treaded water with a short bench, giving backup centre Lucas Nogueira just the second start of his NBA career, alongside Valanciunas, who matched Jazz star centre Rudy Gobert.
The Raptors pulled within 2.5 games of East-leading Cleveland, but off the court, the Cavs made a move to put more distance between themselves and the No. 2 Raptors.
Just before tipoff, Yahoo broke the news that veteran sharp-shooter Kyle Korver was being dealt from Atlanta to Cleveland, which potentially impacts the Raptors.
It gives the Eastern Conference leading, defending NBA champion Cavaliers an aging, but still effective outside gunner to add to the team’s already fearsome collection. Cleveland entered Thursday second in the league in three-point percentage; Korver has led the NBA in three-point percentage three times and has hit 43 per cent of his career attempts, eighth-best all-time, just ahead of Steve Nash.