Kyle Lowry has been linked to trade reports in recent weeks. If
he continues to play this well, however, the Toronto Raptors might
have a hard time letting him go.
Lowry will try to continue his hot stretch and lead the Raptors
to an eighth win in 11 tries Tuesday night when they visit the
After a 6-12 start, the Raptors (13-15) have been playing much
better during a 7-3 stretch, which includes a 99-77 win in Chicago
on Dec. 14. Lowry has been a crucial part of Toronto’s surge and
recorded a season-high 32 points along with 11 assists in a 115-100
home win over New York on Saturday to complete a home-and-home
“He’s playing with such force and such confidence,” coach Dwane
Casey said. “He’s been playing the game the right way and he’s been
playing lights out. It’s really good for Kyle and I’m happy for
Despite having his name come up in trade rumors, Lowry is
averaging 22.4 points over his last five games while going 14 of 30
from 3-point range and posting a 4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Lowry, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is
averaging career bests of 15.8 points and 7.3 assists.
“It is what it is,” Lowry said of the trade speculation. “I’m
not really worried about it. I’ve said it 50 million times and I’m
going to say it 50 more: Until something happens I’m a Raptor and
I’m going to play for the Raptors and I’m going to play hard for
Lowry was 7 of 14 for 16 points in the win over Chicago earlier
this month, but struggled in a 96-80 loss to the Bulls in Toronto
on Nov. 15, scoring six points on 3-of-15 shooting.
The Bulls (12-17) have won three of four despite being without
Luol Deng due to a sore left Achilles. However, they’re just 1-5 in
their last six home games after starting 6-1. They’re averaging
78.2 points and 36.7 percent shooting in the last five losses at
the United Center.
With Deng sidelined for a fifth straight contest, Jimmy Butler
scored a season-high 26 points in Monday’s 95-91 win in
“I’m getting real comfortable,” said Butler, who has missed 12
games due to injury. “I sat down with a few of the vets, and they
just talked to me and told me to play my game and have fun. When
you have fun, everything else takes care of itself.”
While Deng is considered day-to-day, coach Tom Thibodeau was on
the sideline Monday night after missing the team’s morning
shootaround to attend his father’s funeral in Connecticut.
“Our family, once I saw they were good, I felt good about
(coaching),” Thibodeau said.
Perimeter defense has been a key part of Chicago’s last three
victories, with opponents being held to 22.5 percent shooting from
beyond the arc.
The Raptors are hitting 41.8 percent of their 3-pointers over
their last five games with Terrence Ross going 18 for 31.