Homecomings, even for a veteran, can be problematic. The demands on your time by friends, family and acquaintances can easily get out of hand. Not so for Kyle Lowry. Lowry, as the 55 friends and family in section 123 just behind the Raptors bench would attest, remains a very popular man in these parts, having grown up here and starred at Villanova. But having been in the league for seven years, Lowry has this sort of thing down to a science. As he explained to a throng of media on Thursday morning, it’s just a matter of getting all your ticket requests done the night before, deal with any changes early on game day and then turn the cell phone off about 4:30 p.m. and focus on the task at hand. In Lowry’s words, it’s about “being a professional.” That professionalism was evident once game time rolled around because Lowry was locked into the game, finishing with his fourth career triple-double, but just second in a Raptors uniform, and leading the visitors to a 104-95 win. Co-leading was DeMar DeRozan, who took it upon himself to attack when few of his teammates seemed willing. The Raptors didn’t get to the free throw line until the four-minute mark of the second quarter with DeRozan showing the way. Once there the first time, he made repeated visits back winding up with a game high 34 points that included 16 attempts from the line. “He was taking what the defence was giving him,” head coach Dwane Casey said of DeRozan. “They were crowding up on him and he did was he was supposed to do, attack their feet. Philadelphia’s an excellent defensive team, they made him work for everything and the alternative he had was to attack their rotations, attack their closeouts and attack their toughness.” Lowry flirted with a triple-double earlier this year but this one — with 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds — was the real deal and was sealed as he pulled down an offensive board with just over three minutes to go. It’s just another consideration for the league’s coaches as they spend the next week finalizing their choices for the all-star reserves. Lowry and DeRozan, who followed up his career high 40-point night on Wednesday with 34 on Friday, are both very much in the thick of the voting. It appears likely the Raptors will get at least one player named to the team next Thursday but neither player seems to be slowing down at all, which should make things interesting. Two might be asking too much of a league that rarely looks Toronto’s way, but between them Lowry and DeRozan are both making strong cases. Lowry did have an off night on Wednesday as he played through a flu bug that had him running from the bench to the facilities throughout the game. He went 0-for-10 from the field but hounded Monta Ellis all night defensively, earning praise and respect from his head coach. Friday night, Lowry was good on 7-of-11 shot attempts including three of five from distance. The 13 assists were one shy of his season high set against the Indiana Pacers on New Year’s Day. His 10 rebounds were a season high and were just one off his career high of 11 which he has done three times previously. “That’s what he do, man,” DeRozan said of Lowry’s night. “He puts us all in great positions to score. He rebounds. He pushes the ball. He does it all when he’s out there on the court. You can’t ask for another point guard like that who can do all those things and you know, he’s only 5-foot-10.” That height jab was for Lowry who was listening in on the interview and adding his two cents and laughed along with everyone else at the quip. There wasn’t a lot of laughter around the Raptors locker room after they lost three of four, but with two wins in a row it’s coming back. DeRozan doesn’t believe it really ever left.
Raptors Lowry leads team to win in hometown of Philadelphia
Toronto Sun | Jan 25