Marc Gasol knows a thing or two about winning basketball. The Toronto Raptors center has never been the most athletic or skilled player on the floor, but has nevertheless enjoyed a brilliant career due in large part to basketball IQ that’s unsurpassed by any big man in the NBA.
The fabric of Kyle Lowry’s game is woven somewhat similarly. Just like it was no surprise on Thursday when he came out of nowhere to secure an offensive rebound that staved off a wild comeback by the Orlando Magic, it’s also no surprise that Gasol made a point to single Lowry out after Toronto’s 98-93 victory.
“That rebound. Talk about that rebound,” he said, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “That was the game. That’s Kyle. And that has nothing to do with scoring. He stuck his nose in there, he ran through that ball and he got the rebound. He won the game for us.”
After a furious late fourth quarter rally left the Magic down just three with under 30 seconds remaining, Kawhi Leonard’s 19-footer from the right wing came up short, caroming off the rim back toward he, Aaron Gordon, and D.J. Augustin. It was Lowry, though, who came from behind the play to grab the ball as Augustin waited for it to come to him off the bounce, forcing Orlando to foul. Ball game.
The heavily-favored Raptors, after a stunning home loss in the series-opener, now lead the Magic 2-1 in the first round. Game 4 is on Sunday at Amway Center.