Kyle Lowry scored only four points in the fourth quarter of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, but the Toronto Raptors point guard sure made his presence felt.
In what turned out to be one of the more competitive fourth quarters we've seen in a long time at the event, Lowry set the tone by going all-out on defence. He drew not one, but two offensive fouls in the final frame, one against his former teammate Kawhi Leonard, who went on to win MVP, the other against James Harden on what would've been the game-winning 3-pointer.
.@Klow7: HEART OF A CHAMPION pic.twitter.com/CLzYLNJ3yy- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 17, 2020
Lowry came close to drawing a third offensive foul, too. He bravely put himself between LeBron James and the basket when the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was going full speed in transition at one point of the fourth quarter, only a foul wasn't called, leading to a 3-pointer from Chris Paul.
It prompted the Raptors to jokingly tweet that they're looking forward to seeing whether it was a correct non-call on the Last Two Minute Report.
Gonna need to see that L2M report tomorrow 😂 pic.twitter.com/hTdThgDlV3- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 17, 2020
Unfortunately for Lowry, the two fouls he did draw won't be added to his total of 26 on the season, which is second to only LA Clippers centre Montrezl Harrell (29) for most in the league. It wasn't quite enough for Team Giannis to come away with the win either, as Team LeBron beat them to the final target score of 157 thanks to a clutch free throw from Anthony Davis after he was fouled by (who else) Lowry.
Even so, Lowry's effort didn't go unnoticed.
"That's what he does," said Philadelphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid, who was teammates with Lowry on Team Giannis, per James Herbert of CBS Sports. "Game on the line, he's going to be there. He is going to do what he has to do. I love him."
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Team Giannis head coach Nick Nurse also seemed to appreciate Lowry's effort - despite being voted in as a reserve, Lowry closed the game alongside Kemba Walker, Pascal Siakam, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid - although he had "mixed emotions" watching his All-Star point guard put his body on the line time and time again.
"Kyle was being himself, trying to do whatever he can do to win a game," Nurse told TSN. "That's why we had him out there. But I did have some mixed emotions that I didn't want him to get hurt.
"He's really good at bouncing up off of those things. I think he knows how to take them pretty well."
In addition to drawing those two charges, Lowry finished with 13 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. He shot only 4-for-12 from the field, but in true Lowry fashion, the team was much better when he was on the court.
Not that his performance on Sunday counts towards anything for the Raptors this season, but it was yet another reminder of what makes Lowry special.
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