Toronto Raptors veteran guard Kyle Lowry has been held back as of late. During a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks last week, the veteran guard checked in for 21 minutes and shot 7-for-12 from the field, putting up 18 points.
As it turns out, Lowry suffered a sprained thumb. Two nights later, the Raptors faced the Bucks for a second-straight game, and they did so without their starting point guard. Although Lowry wasn't on the floor for the Raptors, they came away with another big win in Milwaukee.
Lowry went on to miss the next two games for the Raptors, including Sunday's matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto fared well without the veteran star as they defeated Minnesota on the road by five points before returning to their temporary home in Tampa to take down the vising Sixers by seven points.
Although it seemed Lowry's absence would help the Sixers out on the road this past weekend, they couldn't get out of their own way. The Sixers struggled to hit their open shots, and made just 38-percent of their field goal attempts, and averaged under 30-percent from beyond-the-arc.
Plus, the shorthanded Raptors did a nice job on both sides of the ball. Not only did their defense hold Sixers center Joel Embiid to just 25 points with their constant double-teams, but they managed to average just under 50-percent from the field and hit 41-percent of their shots from three en route to a 110-103 victory.
They'll see if they can continue the hot streak without Lowry on Tuesday.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_