Heat's Kyle Lowry handed ovation on emotional Toronto return
Kyle Lowry put up a double-double in his first game in Toronto since a trade to the Miami Heat, who defeated the Raptors 114-109 on Sunday.
Kyle Lowry was overwhelmed by the reception he received upon his return to Toronto, as the Miami Heat beat the Raptors 114-109 on Sunday.
The Heat guard spent nine seasons in Toronto, averaging 17.5 points and 7.1 assists over that span, as well as being such a key player in the Raptors' sole NBA championship in 2019.
It was the first time Lowry had played in Toronto since February 2020, weeks before the covid-19 pandemic forced a stoppage to the season and a move to a bubble.
After Miami's other starters were introduced, the lights at the Scotiabank Arena dimmed and a video tribute to Lowry's time in Toronto played on the scoreboard. The sell-out crowd gave the 36-year-old a standing ovation as he was introduced with the words "From North Philly to your city…"
Lowry graciously acknowledged the crowd with his two sons by his side, before putting up a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists, as well as six rebounds in the win.
Lowry: "It meant the world to me"
"It meant the world to me for the fans to show their appreciation, give me an ovation like that," Lowry said post-match. "The first time is always special and you don't forget that. It's something I'm going to cherish for a long time.
"I got the win, so that made it better. Even if I didn't win, it would have been a great night, a special night."
Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn, who handled coaching duties with Erik Spoelstra sidelined due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, praised Lowry's ability to handle the emotional return on the Toronto court.
"I'm surprised he was able to reel it back in and play so well," Quinn said. "Obviously we needed him tonight as the quarterback of our team. What a cool night."
With the win, despite the injured Jimmy Butler's absence, the Heat moved closer to claiming the Eastern Conference's first seed.