Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry says 'no extra motivation' behind season-best performance against Los Angeles Lakers

Nearly six weeks after this season's trade deadline, when the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors reportedly discussed but couldn't come to terms on a deal involving Kyle Lowry, the 35-year-old had his best performance of the season against the defending champions in a 121-114 win at the STAPLES Center.

Lowry finished with a season-high 37 points, including tying his career-high in 3-pointers made with eight, while dishing out a game-high 11 assists.

"There's no extra motivation," Lowry said postgame when asked if the trade deadline chatter was on his mind. "I didn't care about anything other than winning this game."

"I don't give nobody credit," he continued, addressing reports if an interaction with a fan in the stands got him going. "I just go out there and do my job."

With key rotation players like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher and Gary Trent Jr. not suiting up, Pascal Siakam was the other star alongside Lowry in this win.

The 2018-19 Most Improved Player finished with a season-high tally of 39 points while stuffing the stat sheet with 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.

"When P starts to make jump shots it kind of opens the floor all the way up for him and that just gives him confidence," Lowry said. "Honestly, he was figuring things out tonight and he was telling me some reads and what to do. It's just the growth of him, the maturity of him"

However, Lowry was the difference-maker.

The six-time All-Star sparked a game-changing run in the second quarter by scoring (11) or assisting on 15 of the team's points over a 23-6 run in the final 5:32 of the first half. That run, which capped off a 40-21 second quarter in Toronto's favour, helped the Raptors go from being four points down (53-49) to holding a 13-point halftime lead (72-59), one they wouldn't let go off for the rest of the game.

Lowry ensured the Raptors kept their foot on the pedal and didn't let go, sharing what he discussed at halftime.

"I said at halftime, I said no matter what happens in the rest of this game let's have fun. I think that's one of the things that we can always rally around is having fun. This game is a game of joy and fun and when you're having fun good things happen."

Lowry led by example coming out of the break, nailing two big 3-pointers in the third quarter, one with a very friendly bounce and one that was a four-point play that ensured the Raptors stayed in front.

This victory snaps the Raptors' three-game skid and gives them their first road win since April 10 in Cleveland. It also keeps the team's slim Play-In hopes alive, bringing them within 2.5 games of the 10th-seeded Washington Wizards with seven games to go.

The Raptors will face the LA Clippers on Tuesday, a contest that will wrap-up their four-game road trip.

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