Toronto Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a sprained right ankle.
Lowry left Monday night’s 128-92 win against the Knicks with right ankle soreness after he got tangled up with Mitchell Robinson in the third quarter.
The point guard had 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 26 minutes and he’s averaging 14.8 points, 9.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.6 minutes over 57 games this season.
The Raptors are just two games behind the Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and they will face a desperate Thunder team.
Raptors Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Thunder
*Notates expected starter
C: Marc Gasol*, Serge Ibaka, Chris Boucher
PF: Pascal Siakam*, Eric Moreland
SF: Kawhi Leonard*, Patrick McCaw, Norman Powell
SG: Danny Green*, OG Anunoby
PG: Fred VanVleet*, Jeremy Lin
With Lowry out, Fred VanVleet or Jeremy Lin will probably take his place in the starting lineup. VanVleet had 23 points and six assists in 40 minutes in the 123-114 overtime win against the Thunder last Wednesday while Lin had six points off the bench in 15 minutes.
VanVleet and Lin can help replace Lowry’s production but containing Russell Westbrook is a whole different story.
The Thunder point guard has been unstoppable as of late, he had 42 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in 44 minutes last Tuesday, although he did have nine costly turnovers.
Westbrook is averaging 27.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 36.7 minutes over his last 10 games but he also turns the ball over 4.7 times per game in that span and the Thunder really need this game, they’ve lost their last four contests and they’re now in a four-way tie with the Spurs, Jazz and Clippers for fifth place in the Western Conference, so they can’t keep dropping games.
Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam will carry the load for the Raptors but Siakam, in particular, needs to have a big game because, without Lowry, he will be their secondary scorer once again.
Siakam was up to the task on Tuesday, finishing with a team-best 33 points and 13 rebounds, along with six assists in 43 minutes and now he’s averaging 18.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 34.8 minutes over his last 10 games.
The Raptors also got a boost from Serge Ibaka’s return from suspension. Marc Gasol has taken over as starting center and he had 10 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes against the Thunder but Ibaka added six points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off the bench and his playing time will likely increase as the Raptors figure out how to distribute minutes between him and Gasol.