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Lowry sparks Raptors to win


NEW YORK—Kyle Lowry already was ill, then he was injured.

Neither was going to keep him off the floor with the Toronto Raptors badly needing a victory.

Lowry finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists for his ninth career triple-double as the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 103-95 yesterday.

Already feeling sick, Lowry needed four stitches after cutting his right forearm on a camera mounted to the basket stanchion.

But he played more than 39 minutes and recorded his first triple-double of the season.

“It's a part of the game," Lowry reasoned. ”You're going to get injured, you're going to get hurt.

“It's just how you find ways to get through it, and I'm always going to find a way to get through it.”

Playing again without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, the slumping Raptors ended a two-game skid and won for just the third time in 11 games.

Jonas Valanciunas led them with 22 points.

Terrence Ross added 17 points for the Raptors, who extended their longest winning streak ever against the Nets to eight.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Nets, who had 16 turnovers in the first half and finished with 22.

They have lost nine in a row overall and 12-straight at home, where they haven't won in 2017.

“I thought in the second half we improved,” said Nets' coach Kenny Atkinson.

“That's why we gave ourselves a chance, because our defence was not great but decent enough to have a chance to win the game.”

Brooklyn cut a 17-point deficit to four midway through the fourth quarter.

But Lowry soon took over—throwing a lob to Valanciunas for a basket, making a pair of free throws, and then finding DeMarre Carroll for a basket that pushed the lead back into double digits at 92-82.

DeRozan has missed seven of the last eight games because of right ankle injuries during a frustrating time for the Raptors, who snapped a five-game road losing streak.

“Good teams, bad teams, whatever it is, frustration's a part that you've got to fight through as a team,” noted coach Dwane Casey.

Lowry finished 0-for-5 from three-point range and remained with 799 three-pointers with the Raptors—two behind Morris Peterson's franchise record.

Patrick Patterson also sat out after leaving Toronto's loss in Orlando on Friday with a bruised left knee.

He has missed 11 of the last 20 games with knee injuries.

Meanwhile, the Raptors' recent struggles cost Casey a chance to coach the Eastern Conference at the all-star game.

The coach whose team had the second-highest winning percentage through Sunday's games (Cleveland's Tyronn Lue is ineligible after coaching last year) earned the spot, and Boston's Brad Stevens clinched it Friday.

Casey said he was disappointed but only because that meant the Raptors weren't playing well.

“I'd much rather for us to be playing well right now moreso than coaching in the all-star Game,” he stressed.

“If we were in third playing well, I'd be happy,” Casey noted.

“But I'm more upset about not playing well, and everybody not being healthy, than coaching in the all-star game.”

The Raptors next host the Clippers tonight.

L.A. won the first meeting this season after the Raptors won the previous four.

Boston beat the L.A. Clippers 107-102 and Oklahoma City downed Portland 105-99 in the only other NBA games yesterday.

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