Kyle Lowry had five fouls and a bum leg that he was dragging around the court as if it were tethered to a 10-pound weight.
But that didn't stop the Toronto Raptors point guard from making the most improbable of shots in an 87-79 win over the Nets in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series Sunday night.
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With the Raptors up by four and 1:13 left, the 6-foot guard landed a running hook over 6-11 Kevin Garnett, which was all Nets fans needed to see before heading toward the Barclays Center exits.
The shot cemented the win and the win cemented the notion that this is going to be a long series.
"We got guys who want to win as badly as [the Nets] want to win," Lowry said of the series, which is tied at 2-2 and headed to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Lowry's right knee is so banged up that he didn't practice fully with the team between Games 3 and 4. Nevertheless, he scored 22 points, shot 7-for-17 and came up with big shots in the second half, when his team needed him most because the Nets finally had found a way to defend DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan scored only four of his 24 points in the second half.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said he could see that Lowry's leg was bothering him but never considered taking him out at the end of the game.
"He was OK. We would have probably gotten in a fight if I tried to take him out of the game at that time," Casey said. "He's dealing with a lot right now and he came through with flying colors."
Lowry believed that his team had to come out of Brooklyn with a win. He believed it so much that he didn't think twice about attempting a hook over Garnett, who has more than 2,000 blocked shots in his career.
"It was my first one all year," he said of the hook. "It's something I work on in the summertime. I felt like it was a shot I could go to. I felt like I was going to make it. It looked good. It felt good."
It was good.