Behind resurgent Kyle Lowry, Raptors take 2-1 series lead over Heat


Nobody thought Kyle Lowry‘s struggles would last forever. Through the first nine games of the playoffs (a seven-game series victory over the Indiana Pacers and the first two games against the Miami Heat), Lowry had been shooting just over 30 percent from the field and an atrocious 15.8 percent from three-point range.

But the Lowry that showed up on Saturday, during the Raptors’ 95-91 win in Miami, was the Lowry that made his second consecutive All-Star game this season. He scored a team-high 33 points on an efficient 11-for-19 shooting performance from the field and shot 5-for-8 from the three-point line.

It was enough to lift the Raptors’ offense, which had been struggling aside from Jonas Valanciunas. The big man was once again carrying Toronto when he exited in the third quarter with an ankle injury. It was the second major injury of the game, after the Heat lost Hassan Whiteside to a right knee injury in the first half. The two injuries are potentially series-shifting, although early indications are that Whiteside’s injury is more serious than Valanciunas’.

For the Heat, Dwyane Wade was spectacular, scoring 38 points and hitting three three-pointers. Wade’s offense carried Miami as they hung with Toronto after losing Whiteside. But a missed Joe Johnson three-pointer in the final minute ended their chances of catching up, and by then it was a matter of the fouling game.

With the win in Miami, the Raptors stole back home-court advantage from the Heat. Game 4 is set for Monday.