Kyle Lowry Leads Raptors Past Lakers in First Game of NBA Restart
Can I just say it feels so good to be writing Toronto Raptors recaps again.
It’s truly been an awfully long time, but after four months – or eternity I dare say – the Toronto Raptors are back to playing meaningful basketball and back to proving doubters wrong. On Saturday night, they once again shut up a number of individuals, particularly in the American national media with yet another statement victory.
Call it just another day in the office.
“I think we have all the confidence that we need,” Anunoby said after a career night in which he scored 23 points on 8/9 shooting while playing impeccable defense on LeBron James. “It helps my confidence knowing I can do it against anyone. It’s just about getting the reps and staying with it and just being confident in my moves and being patient.”
Trust me when I say this: there will come a day where people will understand just how incredible Kyle Lowry is at basketball. One day. And until that day comes, I will continue to fight the good fight. Against the Western Conference’s best team, led by the Raptor organization’s long withstanding kryptonite LeBron James, Lowry exploded and had his finger prints all over tonight’s 107-102 victory.
“He was vintage Kyle tonight,” Nurse said. “He was scoring and flying around and taking charges and competing and getting us some critical buckets and keeping things ticking over, he was great.”
As he usually does, Lowry set the pace tonight and it is truly amazing to see how much better the Raptors are when Lowry is on the court. He led all scores with 33 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out six assists. He was taking charges, getting his hands into passing lanes and playing the type of basketball that may not always look the prettiest on the stat-sheets, but it’s the type of basketball that wins games.
Additionally, this game recap cannot be complete without highlighting the Raptors token defense that showed up yet again tonight. The Lakers shot a season-low 35.4-percent from the field as a team and the Raptors held the superstar duo of James and Anthony Davis to 34 combined points. For reference, Davis scored 34 points all on his own just two days ago in a win against the odds-on “championship favourite” Los Angeles Clippers.
“Nick says he’s going to kind of ease us back in and use it as an exhibition,” Lowry said. “We’ve got too many competitive guys that want to go out there and play and hoop and win games, especially against the guys like the Lakers and with the team that’s No. 1 in the West. The competitive juices get going.”
Give credit where credit is due.
Not only are the Raptors big and long. They are smart, there’s a lot of high IQ players on the defensive side of the court and at no time are the Raptors at a disadvantage defensively no matter who is on the floor. They get their hands into passing lanes, they are very efficient at helping one pass away, they shut down isolation basketball, and can change their sets on the fly with relative ease.
“I don’t think there’s anything you can do better,” James said, after scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 boards in the loss. “You execute your offence to get the best shot and we did that tonight. We went 10 for 40 from the 3-point line. I believe a lot of those 40 3s are great looks after getting to the point, knowing what they’re going to give up. We just have to step up and knock them down.”
Keep sleeping on the reigning champs.