After clawing back from an 0-2 deficit to tie the series at two games apiece, the Toronto Raptors suffered a wire-to-wire 22-point loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
It was a rough one from the start, as Toronto was limited to just 11 points in a rough first quarter, causing many to wonder if the previous two games had caught up to the team.
In Games 3 and 4, the Raptors exerted an abundance of energy, with starters notably logging heavy minutes in each win.
In his 13th season, 34-year-old Kyle Lowry played a total of 90 minutes in Games 3 and 4, including the entire second half of both. While many speculated that this heavy workload may catch up to Lowry as well as the other members of the Raptors' tight playoff rotation, the six-time All-Star denied it had a hand in the team's Game 5 performance.
"Nope," Lowry remarked when asked if fatigue mattered on Monday (per TSN's Josh Lewenberg). "Just didn't play well."
In 34 minutes of action in Game 5, Lowry finished with just 10 points (on 3-for-8 shooting), five assists and two rebounds while he committed three turnovers. As a team, Toronto finished Game 5 with just 89 points while shooting 38.8% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc.
The Celtics also outrebounded the Raptors 45-36.
Now, on the brink of elimination, Lowry says the defending champs have to quickly adapt from Game 5 in order to extend their season.
"Every single game is a different game," Lowry said, as reported by Lewenberg. "It's the playoffs. You learn from it, make adjustments, and continue to grow. Right now we're on the brink of elimination, so we're literally fighting for our lives on the basketball floor. It's win or go home."
Game 6 is the first elimination game this Raptors team will have played in since Game 7 of last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Toronto will fight for its playoff life when it meets Boston for Game 6 on Wednesday, Sept. 9 on Sportsnet at 6:30 ET.
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