Kyle Lowry Credits ‘Balls of Steel’ After Shot Below the Belt – Sports Illustrated

“Obviously, I’ve got balls of steel”

The defending champion Raptors narrowly avoided falling behind 0–3 in their series against the Celtics on Thursday night, and Kyle Lowry was a big reason why. 

Lowry led all scorers with 31 points and came up in the clutch with an incredible pass to find OG Anunoby for the game-winner at the buzzer. 

Lowry played a ridiculous 46 minutes in the game. He sat out for 91 seconds late in the first quarter and never subbed out again—even after taking a hard shot to the groin. With five seconds left in the third, Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker drove to the hoop for a layup attempt and Lowry rose to meet him. Wanamaker’s knee hit Lowry square in the crotch, and Lowry was clearly in considerable pain. (Lowry was the one called for the foul, though.)

But he never left the court. He was back on the floor as Wanamaker shot his free throw and for the final Toronto possession of the quarter. 

Asked after the game about playing through the pain, Lowry had a simple explanation. 

“Obviously, I’ve got balls of steel,” he said. “Just trying to win the game. That’s where you find the energy. That’s what that was, just trying to win the game. No gas at all. Balls of steel, and just win.”

The Raptors are lucky Lowry wasn’t down for the count because there aren’t many guys in the league who can make the pass he made to set up Anunoby’s buzzer beater. Raptors coach Nick Nurse drew up a play he borrowed from Hubie Brown that featured three Toronto players serving as decoys while Anunoby snuck along the baseline to the far corner of the court. That required Lowry to throw a perfect sky-high pass that landed right in Anunoby’s hands so he could get the shot off with just 0.5 seconds on the clock. 

This court-level angle does an amazing job of showing just how on-the-money Lowry’s pass was. 

Who wants free stuff? 

With summer winding down, it’s a good time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors before the weather cools down again. That’s why we’re running this giveaway from Sawyer today. 

Sawyer makes products for the outdoors, including the three we’re giving away today: Picaradin non-DEET insect repellant, Permethrin insect repellant (designed to spray on clothes, tents, golf bags, etc., and last for up to six weeks) and the Micro Squeeze water filter (which screws onto the top of any standard water bottle, allowing you to drink clean water from any freshwater source). Winners will get two of each product. 

Here’s how to win: 

  • Go back to Thursday’s Hot Clicks
  • Find the name of the current major leaguer who gave a history of the Negro Leagues in a Twitter video
  • Send me an email (dan.gartland@si.com) with the subject line Sawyer giveaway and the correct answer in the body
  • The subject line thing is important! Every time I do a giveaway I’m amazed by how many different ways people find to mess up that simple instruction
  • The 25th, 50th and 100th persons to follow those instructions will win

The best of SI

If baseball had an All-Star Game in 2020, who would make the cut? … Predictions for the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals. … The Thunder want Billy Donovan to return, but does he want the same? … The Bucks need Giannis to have an MVP-caliber response to the Heat’s smothering defense

Around the sports world

The Hornets fired a broadcaster who tweeted (accidentally, he claims) the N-word. … Chauncey Billups is trying to throw his hat in the ring for some NBA head-coaching jobs. … Four women came forward to detail allegations of harassment while working for the Washington NFL team. … Novak Djokovic spent $40,000 to rent a home during the U.S. Open, citing the inability to open the windows in the USTA hotel.

Very cool tribute

Oskar Lindblom played his first game for the Flyers since being diagnosed with cancer in December and completing treatment in July

I’m glad LeBron isn’t doing his usual postseason social media blackout

Certainly an improvement

Excellent jab from a former Rocket

Hell of a goal to lift the Faroe Islands (population: 52,000) over Malta (population 514,000)

Safety first

Alexander Ovechkin’s two-year-old son already has soft hands

What a ridiculous cheap shot

This reporter covering the Yankees’ alternate site has found really creative ways to get a peek at players without being allowed in the ballpark

Not sports

Mariah Carey confirmed that two of her hit songs were written about Derek Jeter. … Jeopardy! is coming back with new episodes on Sept. 14, and Ken Jennings is going to have a role in the new season. … Taco Bell is getting rid of the Mexican Pizza.

New trailer for the next James Bond movie, now debuting in November

A college chemistry professor in Los Angeles bought a Cameo video from Snoop Dogg to get some help with reading his syllabus

Whoa!

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.