Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting (7-of-9 from three) on Wednesday, but his team lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
After the game, Lowry made it clear that his individual accomplishments significantly paled in comparison to the overall result:
The 13-year veteran was hot while the rest of his team went cold. Per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, the Raptors minus Lowry went 0-of-15 in the fourth quarter. For the game, Toronto shot 31.2 percent when excluding his performance.
However, the Raptors are a much better offensive team than what they showed Wednesday.
Per ESPN.com, Toronto finished 2018-19 ranked sixth in offensive efficiency, and that was with leading scorer Kawhi Leonard missing 22 regular-season games. The team also made 47.4 percent of its field goals, good for the NBA's fifth-best mark.
The Raptors can also take solace in the fact that they largely dominated the first three quarters despite the shooting slump. They led by 11 at the end of the first quarter and held an 83-76 edge heading into the fourth.
Toronto will likely shoot better from the field in Game 2, but its key to a road win may lie in its defense against a few key Bucks.
Namely, Toronto is going to have a hard time winning games if Brook Lopez goes off like he did on Wednesday to the tune of 29 points on 12-of-21 shooting. Malcolm Brogdon also proved a pain to defend with his 15 points off the bench.
Of course, the Raptors must face the challenge of defending future NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo every night, as well. But if Toronto shoots better and can clamp down defensively against Milwaukee's supporting cast, then Lowry can certainly enjoy his team's success postgame.
Milwaukee hosts Toronto for Game 2 on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.