NBA: Raptors' Kyle Lowry blanked out at home

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (left) had a miserable offensive outing against forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. Lowry failed to score in 33 minutes of action as Toronto slumped to their second defeat in a row.
Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (left) had a miserable offensive outing against forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. Lowry failed to score in 33 minutes of action as Toronto slumped to their second defeat in a row. His last scoreless game came in March 2013.PHOTO: REUTERS

Raptors star Lowry misses all five shots to hand victory to Eastern rivals Bucks

TORONTO • The home fans were not anticipating a shooting turnaround from Kyle Lowry given his "terrible stretch" of form - having hit four-for-23 from the field in the Toronto Raptors' past three games.

But they would have expected something better than the horror show he put on to finish scoreless despite being on court for the majority of their 104-99 National Basketball Association loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The four-time All Star failed to connect with all five of his shots on Sunday as he failed to get off the mark for the first time in his career when playing at least 30 minutes.

His dud display at the Scotiabank Arena was also the first time he had been held to zero points since the Raptors' visit to the Miami Heat in March 2013.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 32-year-old's record of four from 28 is the joint-worst period of his career, matching a stretch in his second NBA season with Memphis Grizzlies in 2008.

Afterwards, Lowry admitted he did not "have any excuses to make", vowing to "look at the (post-game) film" to see how he could get out of his offensive funk.

He said: "I'm just not playing well. It's as simple as that. I hold myself, and the organisation holds me, to a high standard.

"As a leader of this team, I've got to figure out how to play a lot better offensively."

His seven assists on the night were scant consolation as the Bucks (17-8) beat the Raptors (21-7) in a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, but teammate Kawhi Leonard, who had 20 points, backed Lowry to find his shooting range again.

Leonard said: "He's (Lowry) gonna have some big games coming up. He's missing shots (but) that's why we play 82 games.

"(It's) just a test for the play-offs. You just got to think down the road. If you have games like this, just buy in and come into the next game.

"He's working here in practice with his shot. It's gonna fall for him. He'll probably hit seven in a row or something."

Fellow Toronto guard Fred VanVleet was also confident it was only a matter of time before his "shot comes back" as "one of the best shooters in the league" and the team were "there to support him".

The Bucks had a more reliable shooter in Malcolm Brogdon, who finished with 18 points including the go-ahead three-pointer with 40.7 seconds left, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez added 19 apiece.

The away team later revelled in their impressive victory on Toronto's home court as "one of the best wins we had all season", with centre Lopez telling USA Today: "We have 100 per cent belief in one another. It's gone well for us. That faith in one another is huge."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'Blanked out at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe