Kyle Lowry returns to lead Toronto Raptors to 121-105 victory over Pacers
Norman Powell scored 23 points and Kyle Lowry returned from injury to tally 12 as the Toronto Raptors snapped the Indiana Pacers’ six-game NBA winning streak with a 121-105 victory on Sunday, January 6.
Pascal Siakam finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Serge Ibaka scored 18. As the Raptors won despite missing Kawhi Leonard who sat out to rest.
The four-time All-Star Lowry also dished out 8 assists after missing the last 10 of 11 games due to back and thigh problems. He played 32 minutes and shot 4-of-10. Also going 2-for-6 from beyond the arc in front of a crowd of 19,800 at Scotiabank Arena.
“Good to be out there with my guys,” Lowry said. “It felt good to be able to help them get a win.”
Danny Green scored 15 points and equaled his season high with 5 three-pointers. Meaning Toronto returned from a victory in Milwaukee on Saturday to win their fifth consecutive contest at home.
The Raptors nailed 17-of-33 from three-point range, one shy of their season best.
“He’s a big piece of what we’re trying to do here,” Powell said of Lowry. “It seemed like he hasn’t missed a beat.”
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points. Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 11 rebounds. While Victor Oladipo scored 16 points for Indiana. They have lost 14 of their last 16 against Toronto. The Pacers’ last win in Toronto was in 2013.
“This is a tough place to play,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. “We haven’t had success here in a number of years. We never really established that we could stop them.”
Thaddeus Young scored 14 points and Darren Collison had 11 in the loss.
Toronto made 6-of-9 three-pointers to take a 37-35 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Before Powell scored 10 points in the 2nd and Toronto led 70-63 at halftime.
Ibaka also delivered 10 in the 3rd as the Raptors took a comfortable 96-84 lead into the 4th.
Playing for the first time since missing 10 of the previous 11 games, Lowry made his presence felt early. Before finishing with 12 points and eight assists.
“Good to be out there with my guys, felt good to be able to help them get a win,” said Lowry, who’d been out first with a thigh contusion, then lower back pain.
Lowry’s return came in a game Kawhi Leonard sat out for body maintenance. Coach Nick Nurse was happy to have his four-time all-star back.
“Very good leadership,” Nurse said on Lowry’s presence. “You can just sense an organized attack at both ends. He goes 4-for-10, 12 points, eight assists, but there’s about 32 other things out there that you’re not seeing that he’s doing that don’t get recorded on the stat sheet.”
The Raptors were coming off a big 123-116 victory the previous night in Milwaukee, and a night after cruising past the No. 1 team in the East, the second-place Raptors (30-12) pulled away from No. 3 Indiana in the second half. They got off to a strong start, took a double-digit lead in the second quarter, and had stretched it to 96-84 to start the fourth.
“Last night was unbelievable in Milwaukee. Those guys played their asses off,” Lowry said.