Kyle Lowry’s Greatest Games: My Top 10

19 mins read
courtesy: Instagram/tansley24

Nine seasons. 685 games, including the playoffs. The franchise record holder in made threes, assists, steals, charges and triple-doubles. A six time all-star, All-NBA, and most importantly a champion.

Kyle Lowry is seen by most fans as the greatest Raptor of all time and will play against Toronto for the first time since March 7th 2012 as a member of the Houston Rockets.

To honour his Raptor days, here are my personal top ten games from K-Low. Obviously this is a very subjective list. He’s had better statistical numbers than some of the games listed, but his impact was profound for a number of reasons.

10. A Final Reminder

May 2, 2021 @ Lakers

37 points (12-20 FG, 8-13 3PT), 11 assists

This was one of the rare shining moments for the Raptors in a very lost, depressing season in Tampa. It also turned out to be Lowry’s last game and his performance came at the expense of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and company. What’s even funnier is that the Raptors were planning to trade Lowry at the trade deadline a month prior but reportedly no team was willing to give up the assets required. That included the Lakers, who could have used another veteran star to defend their championship instead of looking dazed and confused after Davis went down in the first round vs the Suns. However there was one roadblock.

Troll season was on full blast after that for any playoff teams that could have traded for Kyle and struggled in the playoffs. Miami getting swept by Milwaukee? Lowry was right there (they got him anyway but stay with me here). Philly collapsing in the East Semis against the Hawks? Welp, the hometown native…

It was something to help Raptors fans cope with literally a foreign season.

Lowry didn’t play in the final seven games, as both sides knew it was time to part ways and “play-in for what?” was well in motion. Kyle’s last made shot as a Raptor was a deep three right over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and it was beautiful.

A final reminder just incase anyone forgot.

PS: The joke is still going a year later.

9. The Closer

April 27, 2018 @ Wizards. 1st Round, Game 6

24 points (9-15 FG), 6 rebounds, 6 assists

The Wizards first round series was highly annoying. Washington swept Toronto three years prior and many believed the Wiz moved down to the 8-seed on purpose to face the Raptors again. Lowry’s worst days as a Raptor came in that 2015 first round embarrassment, where he only shot 31 percent and had Bradley Beal waving goodbye to him as he fouled out of the series opener.

2018 was the only time the Raptors have been a one seed, and this series was tied after four games. Game five was extremely stressful, as Toronto was down in the fourth quarter before rallying to take a 3-2 lead. The Raps also trailed most of Game six, and thoughts of a deciding game back in Toronto started to loom. However Lowry took over in the fourth with HUGE baskets. Most of that came during a stretch where three of the original “Bench Mob” members (Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright) were on the court. Lowry plus bench lineups were usually effective for years. DeMar DeRozan got extra rest because Lowry couldn’t be stopped on his drives, including a running hook over Marcin Gortat.

After what happened in 2015, it was poetic justice to see Kyle emerge as the best player on the court when it mattered most.

8. Mr. Resilient

May 23, 2016 vs Cavs. East Finals, Game 4

35 points (14-20 FG, 4-7 3PT), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals

The 2016 playoffs were ugly at times but fun man. First trip to the Eastern Conference Finals and no, the Raptors did NOT get swept by the Cavs every season! Toronto basically didn’t belong in the first two games as heavy underdogs. Kyle had the “decompress” moment in Game two. The Raptors dominated Game three, and then Lowry was a PROBLEM in this one throughout the whole game. After Cleveland took a brief fourth quarter lead, Lowry and DeRozan tag teamed key plays to tie the ECF at two. The BFFs enjoyed their best combined playoff performance as teammates (DeRozan added 32 pts on 60% shooting). This also wasn’t Lowry’s only explosion against the Cavs that year (more on that later).

LeBron, and friends went back to killing Toronto for the rest of the series (and 2017…and 2018) but this game was special because at that point the Raptors were only two wins away from their first NBA Finals apperance.

7. First Playoff Explosion

April 30, 2014 vs Nets. 1st round, Game 5

36 points (11-19 FG, 6-9 3PT), 6 assists

2014 was so wholesome. It was the birth of seven straight playoff appearances by Lowry and the Raptors, snapping a five-year drought. It’s also where Jurassic Park took the NBA by storm, and has since been imitated by other teams (Milwaukee’s Deer District). Lowry’s 36 here is still a playoff career-high.

Toronto was the three seed, but came in as underdogs because Brooklyn was supposed to be something.

Instead, Lowry routinely torched a broken down former all-star in Deron Williams. Then Toronto blew a 26 point lead! Of course though it was Lowry delivering the dagger shots to get the win, none prettier than dropping Williams to his knees on a behind the back crossover for a floater. We all know how this series ended, but the vibes emanating from the city during this season is a big reason why Lowry signed a four-year extension. That set the foundation for nearly a decade of excellence. Lowry has said numerous times that he didn’t expect to be here past 2014. Especially considering the Rudy Gay trade and being shopped himself.

Once again, thank you James Dolan.

6. The Pass

September 3, 2020 vs Celtics. East Semis, Game 3

31 points (13-23 FG), 6 rebounds, 8 assists 2 steals

(the original video I posted was removed by the uploader, so I replaced it with the full highlights from this game)

The Raptors are the only team that’s ever been forced to defend their title at a neutral site. Realistic arguments can be made that the 2020 squad could have gone back to the Finals in a normal year, even without Kawhi Leonard. It’s sad because no other Raptors team showed more personality. The championship swagger was so infectious that guys would point to their ring finger during losses. Hecklers couldn’t tell them anything.

So after falling down 2-0 in the series, you knew that the championship pride would kick in. Lowry showed just that all game, at the expense of another former all-star PG in Kemba Walker. Down two possessions in the final minute, Kyle still attacked. And then trailing by two with five tenths of a second left, Lowry delivered one of his greatest plays in Raptors history.

Here’s some more looks. The only advantage in the bubble was that there was more room on the sidelines with no fans. This gave Lowry room to move further back and lob a perfect pass to OG Anunoby over 7-5 Tacko Fall. Had this been on a regular sideline, Lowry surely would have to try this a little differently but I’m still sure he would have figured it out.

And this wasn’t even Kyle’s best game of the series.

5. Star Amongst Stars

February 26, 2016 vs Cavs

43 points (15-20 FG), 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals

Here’s the other Cavs game I was referring to. Lowry’s career-high 43 points (to this day) came on a night where four other all-stars shared the court.

The Raptors had no business winning this one. They were down double digits for most of the night, and DeMar shot 1-for-11. However Kyle kept bringing Toronto back in it with 16 fourth quarter points, capped off with his game winning shot over Matthew Dellavedova. It was a KLOE game before anyone was even saying that (again, more later). The Raptors won the season series vs the Cavs that year and only finished one game behind for the two seed. This game led some to believe that the Raps could do something special if they could just solve their first round woes.

4. New Heights

May 15, 2016 vs Heat. East Semis, Game 7

35 points (11-20 FG, 5-7 3PT), 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals

Hey look, its Miami and Goran Dragic.

Lowry capped off an absolute rollercoaster series with one of his marquee performances. He entered the series on arguably the worst shooting stretch of his career, practicing jumpers after a Game one loss despite making a halfcourt shot to send the game to overtime. Kyle re-found the touch in Game three and Dwyane Wade turned back the clock, averaging nearly 24 points a game throughout the series. The Raptors didn’t know how to win a series without going the distance at this point so once again it was win or go home, with a first time trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line. Miami had nothing left in the second half and Lowry dominated.

3. KLOE (Kyle Lowry Over Everything)

December 22, 2019 vs Mavs

32 points (12-23 FG), 8 rebounds, 10 assists

This is the signature KLOE game, however you want to pronounce it.

The Raptors were dead in the water down 30, a place no team had come back from successfully in any regular season game for a decade. In less than nine minutes that deficit disappeared. Lowry had 20 of his 32 points in the fourth and once again the championship swag was shining. Anything felt possible with that 2020 squad. The Raptors went on a 49-14 run, and even after Dallas re-took the lead, Lowry’s assist to Chris Boucher put Toronto in front for good.

As far as regular season games are concerned, it doesn’t get any better than this. Shoutout to the fans sticking through some rough basketball to witness the largest comeback in Raptors history.

2. Heart Of A Champion

September 9, 2020 vs Celtics. East Semis, Game 6

33 points (12-20 FG, 6-10 3PT), 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals

Down 3-2 in the series, the defending champion Raptors were on the ropes facing elimination. Lowry made sure the Raptors lived to see another day.

The back breaking threes he made in the fourth quarter were insane. Siakam and Anunoby chipped in with massive shots in overtime with Lowry’s help. Then came the dagger and the “swim move” described by Mark Jackson.

Obviously Lowry is credited for the championship but on a national scope around the league, I can make the argument that Kyle was noticed individually the most in his entire career that night. Kawhi received his flowers for the championship run. However in Game six vs Boston, Lowry finally wasn’t overlooked.

Joel Embiid and JJ Redick would know from the second round duel the previous year. Here are some others.

And some former teammates including Deebo.

Better late than never.

1. The 6ix In Six

June 13, 2019 @ Warriors. NBA Finals, Game 6

26 points (9-16 FG, 4-7 3PT), 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 1 championship

I’m not sure how it could be anything else.

Lowry had a corner three attempt that could have won Canada’s first NBA title at home in Game five, but Draymond Green got a finger on that shot. For a while, there was some slander about how Kyle could possibly shoot behind the backboard in that moment until replays were shown.

The GROAT wasn’t going to let another title clinching chance slip by him again. Lowry set the tone with 11 points in the first 2:12 of the game including a trio of threes. He had 21 in the half. Showed off his all-around game with everyone else chipping in as well. Then with just over two minutes left in a four point game, Kyle hit an impossible elbow jumper over Steph Curry against the shot clock. It was a season of bounces for the Raptors, so why not one more?

As the final buzzer sounded, Kyle made sure he grabbed the ball.

He also did that when Kawhi made “The Shot.” Everyone also knew which player was raising the Larry OB first.

Lowry inspired those massive rocks on everyone’s fingers. He unveiled the championship banner. An Open Gym clip from the end of the 2017 regular season showed a passionate Kyle telling his teammates to lock in for the playoffs. “I’m trying to get a ring,” Lowry said.

It came two years later, but he saved his greatest performance for Game six to finally capture one.

Your Top 10?

This was fun to put together. Let me know in the comments what changes you would make. Or if I have it down, that’s dope too.

Enjoy the game!

PS: If you haven’t check out Lowry’s Player’s Tribune piece, you should.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.