Raptors' Kyle Lowry talks slump: 'I know I'm better than this'

TORONTO -- Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry made an improbable shot from beyond half court at the buzzer to send Game 1 into overtime Tuesday.

But immediately following his team's 102-96 loss to the Miami Heat, Lowry was on the practice court attached to Air Canada Centre trying to fix his broken jump shot. He later moved to the main court, following his media availability, and was practicing well past midnight ET in an empty, 19,800-seat arena.

Lowry went 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3-point range in Game 1. He currently is shooting 30.6 percent in the playoffs, the worst postseason percentage by any NBA player in the past 50 years (minimum 100 attempts total), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I have [been in a slump like this], but not at this time, so that's what's frustrating," Lowry said. "In the playoffs, all eyes are on you. It sucks to be playing this bad with all eyes on me. I know I'm better than this, so I have to pick this s--- up."

He was in better spirits Wednesday.

"I'm always going to feel better when I wake up in the morning," Lowry said Wednesday afternoon. "Not all the way better, but you wake up, it's another new day, you're positive. I get another chance to help my shooting percentage."

Lowry has shot worse than 40 percent from the field in all eight of Toronto's postseason games, which ties J.R. Smith (2013) for the worst streak in the shot clock era (1954-55, minimum 10 attempts per game).

"I haven't shot the ball well for a while now," Lowry said Tuesday night. "Whatever. I have to find it and have fun. Be more aggressive, maybe be less aggressive, and just find a way to be myself."

Lowry is a prideful player who gives his all on the court, so he's hoping his shooting woes won't continue to plague him. He looked tentative in Game 1 and passed up shots he normally takes.

"I'm trying to get my touch back. I don't know where it's at," Lowry said Tuesday. "It's kind of mind-boggling right now, and it's frustrating, but I'm not going to shy away from the criticism or anything. I know I'm not playing well at all. We got out of the first round with me not playing well, not shooting the ball well, but if we're going to get out of this next series, I have to play better, shoot the ball better and score the ball better."

During the regular season, Lowry averaged 21.2 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting, including a career-high 38.8 percent from 3-point range. In the playoffs, however, he has averaged 13.0 points and shot 8-for-50 (16 percent) from beyond the arc.

In the first 67 games of the regular season, Lowry averaged 22.0 points on 44.3 percent shooting. In the final 10 regular-season games he played, Lowry averaged just 16.0 points on 32.1 percent shooting. He sat out March 23 due to a sore right elbow and had fluid from his elbow drained following a loss to Oklahoma City on March 28.

Lowry maintained that he is fine physically at this point, and the team said he is not receiving any treatment.

"Even though he didn't shoot the ball well, there were situations there down the stretch [when] he got stuff done," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Tuesday. "I thought his bulldog tenacity set the tone for us defensively. We know he's not shooting the ball well, and he's not making shots that he normally makes. It's like a hitter -- hitters go through slumps -- and he's there. I do believe in him, and he's going to come out of it.

"As long as he does the things he did at the end of the game defensively -- making plays, screening, tough rebounds, putbacks and stuff like that -- it doesn't necessarily have to be a jump shot. He gives us so much more than he does just shooting the basketball."

Lowry's teammates are also behind him.

"The only way to get out of a slump is to keep shooting. Kyle is a confident player. He's an All-Star for a reason, like we all say," Toronto power forward Patrick Patterson said Tuesday. "His shot's just not falling. He's missing shots he's made all season long. He's made a lot tougher shots. For some reason, the ball just doesn't seem to want to go in the basket right now. Kyle's Kyle. He'll be completely fine."

Lowry became the third player in the past 20 years to tie a postseason game from 35-plus feet in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, joining Chauncey Billups in the 2004 Eastern Conference semifinals and Reggie Miller in the 2002 first round. All three shots tied games at the end of regulation, but all three teams went on to lose in the extra session.

"It didn't mean anything," Lowry said. "We lost the game."

Game 2 of the second-round series will be Thursday night in Toronto.