OAKLAND, USA – Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry took a shove from a spectator and pushed the Canadian squad within two wins of the NBA title with a stellar NBA Finals performance on Wednesday, June 5 (Thursday, June 6, Philippine time).
Lowry scored 23 points and passed off 9 assists in the Raptors' 123-109 victory at defending champion Golden State, lifting Toronto ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven title matchup.
While diving for a loose ball early in the 4th quarter, Lowry went beyond the backboard and into the crowd, where he was shoved by a spectator who was later removed from the arena by security.
"There's no place for that. He had no reason to touch me," Lowry said. "He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There's no place for people like that in our league, and hopefully he never comes back to an NBA game."
Kyle Lowry was shaking his head after a courtside fan pushed him when he fell into the crowd. pic.twitter.com/5SwQv3hdnN — NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 6, 2019
It was a night of frustration for Warriors fans as Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and Pascal Siakam and Danny Green each added 18.
But it was Lowry's aggressive effort that had his teammates talking after the game.
"He was amazing. He was great," Siakam said. "Just controlling the pace and also finding his shots and looking to score. When he does both of those things and also the hustle plays on defense, that's the whole package for Kyle. Having him on the squad is definitely something that we cherish. He’s our floor general."
Green praised "K-Lo" for the grinder plays that help teammates and thwart rivals.
"He scored well, but the biggest thing that he brings for us is that edge," Green said. "He's a bulldog. He's a pit bull down there and he's going take charges, he's going to get rebounds, he's going to box people out, he's going to do the dirty work. He's a blue collar guy and he's going to give us pace."
The Warriors fan that pushed Kyle Lowry gets escorted out #WeTheNorth #DubNation pic.twitter.com/XzlS0CZLtk — Sports Gifs & Videos (@Supreme_Gifs) June 6, 2019
Lowry said he took his hustle from a locker room board message that simply said: "Let 'er rip."
"For me it was just coming off being aggressive and not so being passive and trying to get everybody else involved and moreso get myself going and let everybody else feed off of that," Lowry said.
Mission accomplished, said Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.
"We knew Kyle was going to have one of those games," he said. "He came out firing tonight and he was big. I think putting him on Steph early got his juices going a little bit as a competitor. He was unbelievable for us. Every time we needed a bucket, he gave us one. Every time they made a run, he had an answer."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr appreciated Lowry's effort against him.
"Kyle set a tone, played a great game for them," Kerr said. "Made some shots, controlled the game and so he was a huge factor for them. Played a fantastic game." – Rappler.com