Title: Raptors nearly do it again with Kyle Lowry-fueled comeback, and other takeaways from OT thriller in Indiana
Date: December 23, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors nearly making it two nights in a row with a monumental comeback, and other takeaways from within a fun game with the Pacers.
It could have just as easily been a replay from Sunday’s game. The Raptors were down big, and Kyle Lowry was putting them on his back to salvage a game.
This wasn’t quite as dire, sure. The deficit was 15, not 30, and while the Indiana Pacers are very good, they were, like Toronto, on the second night of a back-to-back and without two key pieces in Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo. Their win probability, per InPredictable, bottomed out at 5.7 percent in the third quarter, not a fraction of a percent like Sunday. Slight change in how you might quantify the situation aside, it was remarkably similar.
And so here was Lowry, steering the Raptors out of another skid. A step-back 3 bounced several times on the rim before falling through. A few passes found Serge Ibaka and OG Anunoby. Another, after Lowry realized Fred VanVleet had fallen on the previous possession and was behind the play, was an outlet off of a quick Pacers miss that found VanVleet alone on a breakaway.
And then there was the two-for-one to end the quarter, a longtime Lowry special: He stepped into a pull-up 3, commanded the ball from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson once the Pacers missed, and sprinted the floor to sneak a layup in before the buzzer sounded. It completed a 14-point quarter and put the Raptors ahead, the hole they’d dug now completely climbed out of. He’d finish with 30 points on 28 used possessions, six rebounds and nine assists, with 24 of those points coming from halftime onward.
Check it out on The Athletic.