But let’s not act as if he abandoned his team for a significant chunk of time.
1. Toronto fouled J.R. Smith with 2:35 left in the second quarter, triggering a timeout. That’s when Lowry left the court, and he missed Smith’s free throws after the break. Lowry was back in front of the Raptors’ bench with 2:25 on the clock and seated with 2:15 left. He didn’t miss even one whole possession.
2. Lowry typically rests to end the second quarter. There was minimal chance he’d play again in the first half, even if he had stayed by the court the entire time. Dwane Casey could’ve used Lowry for Toronto’s possession with 9.8 seconds left after a LeBron James free throw – and Casey had the option. Lowry had long returned to the bench by then.
Ideally, Lowry could’ve focused himself on the bench without giving any impression of deserting his team. Perhaps, he can work on that.
But, in that moment, if he felt a quick trip to the locker room was ideal, he was right to take it.
If I were his teammate, I’d be upset only if Lowry weren’t doing everything he believed would help himself play better.