Minus Kawhi, Lowry steps up to lead Raptors past Wizards
LOS ANGELES, USA – Kyle Lowry took the reins from Kawhi Leonard, scoring 28 points and 12 assists as the Toronto Raptors improved to 3-0 with a 117-113 NBA win over the Washington Wizards.
With Leonard taking the night off, Lowry carried the offensive load for the Raptors, who also got 16 points from Jonas Valanciunas and never trailed by more than 5 points at the Capital One Arena on Saturday, October 20 (Sunday, October 21, Manila time).
"We've got a spirited group that's ready to fight," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
Toronto rested Leonard on the second half of a back-to-back and third game in 4 days to begin the 2018-19 season.
Leonard helped the Raptors to a 2-0 start by averaging 27.5 points and 11 rebounds in his first two games after arriving via a trade with the San Antonio Spurs.
Leonard played just 9 games last season for the Spurs due to a quadriceps injury.
"We are never going to force anything," Lowry said Saturday. "Whatever happens, I'm going to stay within the game, always trust my teammates in every situation."
This was a rematch from the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, when the top seeded Raptors eliminated the eighth-seeded Wizards in six games.
Washington was missing center Dwight Howard, who missed all of training camp with a sore backside.
Elsewhere, Kemba Walker scored the game-winning free throw with less than a second left as the Charlotte Hornets spoiled Dwyane Wade's final home opener by beating the Miami Heat 113-112. Walker finished with 39 points.
Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Boston Celtics edged the New York Knicks 103-101.
Toronto Raptors def. Washington Wizards, 117-113
Indiana Pacers def. Brooklyn Nets, 132-112
Boston Celtics def. New York Knicks, 103-101
Philadelphia 76ers def. Orlando Magic, 116-115
Detroit Pistons def. Chicago Bulls, 118-116
Charlotte Hornets def. Miami Heat, 113-112
Dallas Mavericks def. Minnesota Timberwolves, 140-136
Denver Nuggets def. Phoenix Suns, 119-91
Portland Trail Blazers def. San Antonio Spurs, 121-108