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Raptors´ Kyle Lowry returns to starting lineup on first home loss

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry got the green light to play Tuesday night versus the Miami Heat. “Kyle’s good. Good to go,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said prior to tipoff. “He’ll be in the starting lineup tonight.

Lowry, who is averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 assists, was injured in the first quarter of a victory Nov. 8 at New Orleans.

Lowry had offseason surgery to repair ligaments in his left thumb. The injuries are unrelated.

Coach Nick Nurse said Lowry’s playing time will not be restricted versus the Heat.

Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, who sprained his right ankle in the same game that saw Lowry injured, returned to the lineup in Sundays victory over Utah.

The Toronto Raptors were triumphant through their first nine matches at Scotiabank Arena this season.

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On Tuesday, nine missed shots in overtime cost the Raptors that illustrious undefeated home record.

Lowry, who’d been sidelined with a fractured left thumb and decided to play just before tipoff, missed his first 11 shots Tuesday — including one from the logo to end the first half — and shot 2 for 18 on the night.

“That’s terrible. That’s rhythm,” said Lowry, whose animated arguing at the officials was in mid-season form. “I missed shots, I didn’t force anything, everything I shot came within the offence and honestly a lot of those threes went in and out.

“I haven’t done basketball-type playing since New Orleans [Nov. 8] so it takes a game, but I’m sure I’ll be better next game. It’s nothing to be concerned or worried about.” The Heat held Toronto to just 33 per cent shooting in the first quarter, and when Justise Winslow scored on a driving layup late in the quarter Miami took a nine-point lead. The visitors took a 32-23 advantage into the second.

Toronto hosts the Houston Rockets on Thursday, then visit Philadelphia on Sunday before returning home to host Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 11.

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