Through the first nine games of the playoffs, Kyle Lowry was having one of the worst shooting in postseason history. It was horrible. And what made it even worse was that you knew he was capable of doing so much more. At a tick under 31% shooting for this postseason, Lowry stayed late after the Game 1 loss and came out in Game 3 with his guns absolutely blazing. Behind him, the Raptors took a 2-1 series lead with their 95-91 win over Miami.
Amazingly, however, Lowry ended the first quarter with no points on just two shot attempts. DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas did most of the work for Toronto and accounted for 16 of the 23 total points; DeRozan had eight on 3/7 and Valanciunas also had eight but on 4/7. Dwyane Wade got off to a quick start for Miami and pounded in seven points on 3/5 shooting as the Heat struggled on offense. They scored 19 points total, and Hassan Whiteside (6) and Goran Dragic (4) did most of the scoring outside of Wade.
The second quarter came, and Kyle Lowry still didn’t get hot. He did, however, put four points on the board as Toronto tallied 26 to the Heat’s 21 and kept their lead extended. Valanciunas had another eight-point quarter on 3/4 shooting, and he hauled in five rebounds to go along with it. DeRozan wasn’t as aggressive as he usually is and attempted just two shots in about seven minutes of action. Joe Johnson kept the Heat alive in the second and had eight points on 4/5 shooting; Wade’s offense slipped a bit, and he was just 1/4 from the field with two points. Going into halftime, Toronto held a 49-40 lead.
Kyle Lowry and Dwyane Wade got into a phenomenal duel right out of the half. Lowry tallied 15 points on 4/6 shooting and banged home three threes to snap out of his shooting slump. The only problem was that Lowry was the only Raptor who had an impact on offense and the rest of the team scored four points and shot 1/11 from the field. Wade’s quarter had him looking like the 2006 DWade that led Miami to a championship — a huge 18 point quarter. He did so on 5/9 shooting that included two made threes and was 6/6 from the free throw line. Miami erupted for 28 thanks to Gerald Green providing a quick six points off the bench. The third quarter ended with the score tied at 68.
The duo mentioned above continued their duel in the fourth, but Wade was unable to have as grand an impact as before. He ended the quarter with 11 of Miami’s 23 points while shooting 4/7 from the field. The combination of DeRozan and Lowry proved too much for the Heat, and they combined for 23 of Toronto’s 27 points. Lowry had another strong quarter and put in 14 points on 5/7 shooting while DeRozan had nine on 2/5 shooting but knocked down 5/6 free throws. All of DeMar’s free throws came within the final 24 seconds.
Kyle Lowry finished with 33 points on 11/16 from the field, 5/8 from three, and 6/6 from the free throw line; DeRozan, still struggling with his consistency, was 6/17 from the field with 19 points. Dwyane Wade had a game-high 38, the most he’s scored in a playoff game since 2012. On top of scoring 38, he was an efficient 13/25 from the field and was able to knock down four threes, something that he hadn’t done since 2010. It’s also worth noting that Hassan Whiteside played just under eight-and-a-half minutes before exiting with a knee injury.
Game 4 is Monday, May 9, at 8:00 PM EST in Miami.