TORONTO — Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is a game-decision for Game 3 between Toronto and Cleveland in their Eastern Conference finals series.
Lowry, who sustained a sprained ankle, did not participate in Friday’s morning shootaround.
‘I’ll see how I feel a little bit later,” Lowry said. “It’s still pretty sore, but I’ll see how I feel tonight before the game and make a game-time decision. I’ve been doing treatment all of yesterday and today, get in early tonight, test it out and see how it goes.
“I want to be out there 100% with my teammates, playing and trying to win games, protecting home court. I wish I could be out there with my teammates, that’s the goal. The goal is just to play. I have to wait.”
Not only do the Raptors need Lowry, they need him close to 100% against a Cavs team that has been impressive through six games of the postseason.
Lowry, an All-Star for the third time this season, averaged 22.4 points and seven assists and shot 41.2% on three-pointers during the regular season. But he injured his hand before the All-Star break, missed a month and has been bothered by a sore back during the playoffs. In eight playoff games, he is averaging 15.8 points and shooting 34.2% on threes.
“He and DeMar (DeRozan) are both our hubs,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “They’re the key to our team, and I’ve said it a lot, the way they go is the way we go.”
Casey said Lowry and the team’s medical staff will determine Lowry’s availability.
“You leave it to the doctors, and if a guy feels like he can go, he’ll go, but the doctors will have something to say about it too,” Casey said. “But most of all, it’s the player. The player knows his pain tolerance. If there’s no possibility of further injury, then I’m sure he’ll try to go.”
Raptors backup Cory Joseph would start if Lowry can’t play, and expect Joseph to receive considerable playing time even if Lowry plays.
Scoring 12 points per game against the Cavaliers in the series and shooting 50% on three-pointers, Joseph is a quality backup who played a minor role on San Antonio’s 2014 championship team.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Cory Joseph,” Casey said. “Cory had a big game the other night (22 points in Game 2 and very capable. Like I say, of all the players on our team, he’s won a championship. He knows how hard it is to win a championship. So he’s very capable if Kyle can’t go.