The votes have already been collected, but Kyle Lowry keeps sending an emphatic message — he is an all-star. Though the chances of Toronto’s point guard making his first all-star game are considered somewhat dicey, there’s little question his numbers scream all-star worthy. Lowry added to his resume Monday with a massive performance in Toronto’s stunning 104-103 win over the hard-charging Nets. Lowry scored 31 points, added seven assists and five rebounds in another reputation-building effort. Patrick Patterson, playing without a mask despite a broken nose, stole an inbounds pass with Toronto down one, then hit the winner. Paul Pierce missed a long three at the buzzer after previously hitting seven, as the Raptors moved. 2 1/2 games up on Brooklyn in the Atlantic. Lowry would not be denied, attacking the hoop with reckless abandon despite being the shortest player on the court and bombing away from outside. He was called for an egregious charge, seemingly handing Brooklyn the game in the dying seconds and, once the final buzzer sounded, had five fist pumps and scowls for the crowd and the referees. Then he hugged team president/general manager Masai Ujiri. Minus DeMar DeRozan for the first time since the end of the 2011-12 season, the Raptors knew others would have to step up to replace the team’s leading scorer. Five scored in double-digits, including Jonas Valanciunas, huge himself in a 20-point, 13-rebound effort. Terrence Ross scored 10, a game after going off for 51. Though Brooklyn came in “right on our butts,” according to Lowry, the game mostly lacked a playoff feel until the fourth quarter. Things then picked up significantly as the contest turned into a grind-it-out affair. A nine-point Raptors lead was wiped out as the team was held off the board for a five-minute stretch in the fourth and the game came right down to the wire. Nets' Deron Williams made a crucial mistake and Patterson made him pay, not long after shooting an air-ball on a three-point attempt. “Patrick looked like Richard Sherman out there with that steal,” Lowry said, comparing Patterson to the star Seattle Seahawks cornerback, who took in the game courtside. “You know me, Richard Sherman, Ed Reed, we’re all in the same category,” laughed Patterson in a jubilant Raptors locker room. Though it felt massive, head coach Dwane Casey kept an even keel post-game. “It’s too early for statement games. We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” he said, when asked if this was the biggest victory of the season. Still, the Nets had won 10 of 11 games in January, with the only loss again coming against the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry huge in Toronto Raptors win over Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Sun | Jan 28