Kyle Lowry Credits Raptors' Defense For Game 2 Win

Rick Zamperin: Toronto Raptors show what they’re really made of

Rick Zamperin: Toronto Raptors show what they’re really made of

The Scotiabank Arena crowd cheered encouragement at Kyle Lowry when he stepped up to the free-throw line to score what would be his first points of these National Basketball Association playoffs. Toronto also should get much more production out of Kyle Lowry, who is far better than what he showed on Saturday. "We just wanted to protect home court really, that's it".

After an impressive 25-point performance (on 10-for-18 shooting) in Game 1, Leonard came out with what Greg Anthony called "a laser-like focus" to dominate for each of the 33 minutes he appeared in Game 2.

The Raptors kept Orlando off the scoreboard for the game's first four minutes, sprinting out to an 11-0 lead. He scored every which way, from driving dunks and alley oops to four three-point balls.

Things blew open in the third quarter, where he dominated with 17 more points, scoring in a number of ways to help the Raptors get out to a 24-point lead to go into the final frame. If this performance is a sign of things to come, the Raptors have plenty to be optimistic about.

But seriously, it's only Game 1 of the series, people. His zero-point outing in the Raptors' home loss was the bud of many jokes and the pressure was on to step up in Game 2. He didn't develop into an All-Star because of his one-on-one skills or athleticism; he got there by combining the basketball IQ that all elite point guards possess with the attitude and fearlessness of an overlooked backup.

The Raps will fly to Orlando on Thursday for Games 3 and 4, which take place Friday and Sunday.

The Raptors were playing off of Lowry's energy and the Scotiabank Arena crowd didn't hesitate to let their captain know he had their support, roaring on each and every bucket he scored.

While he didn't put up any points, the 33-year-old only needed two more assists and three more rebounds to complete the double-double (he writes with a cheeky smile).

Toronto's quality first half built them a modest 12-point advantage with momentum on their side. Flipping, primarily, DeRozan for Leonard was a tough pill to swallow, but it sent a message that the Raptors were willing to part with a star on a long-term deal for a superstar on an expiring contract, believing that they could convince Leonard to stick around and turn Toronto into a consistent contender. The Raptors went into the halftime break leading 51-39.

Leonard connected of seven of nine attempts in the third, scoring 17 points.

With the arrival of Leonard and Gasol, the maturation of Pascal Siakam (19 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday), the perpetual motion of Danny Green, the Raptors have, in a few short seasons, evolved from an iso-heavy outfit to one that can beat teams with the pass. As soon as he lofted the ball to center Marc Gasol, Lowry sprinted around him, received a handoff and barreled his way toward the basket, drawing a foul on Magic center Nikola Vucevic. But Vucevic, who averaged 20.8 points and 12 rebounds a game in the regular season, doesn't see himself having a second bad game in a row. "Any time you go back and you look at something and now you've got the result of something, you say, 'Yeah, maybe it wasn't the right idea"'. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 211.5 points.

Ten - Concern: However, the absence of Anunoby was still felt in Terrence Ross's 15 points off the bench.

As we mentioned above, Vucevic was nowhere to be found. Hot shooting from D.J. Augustin and the Magic's supporting cast, along with a scoreless night from Kyle Lowry, were enough to cost them the game. Orlando isn't going to sustain that level of shooting, especially Augustin.

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