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Gregor Chisholm: Raptors lose Lowry and Ibaka with injuries on Siakam’s career night in New Orleans

Gregor Chisholm: Raptors lose Lowry and Ibaka with injuries on Siakam’s career night in New Orleans
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The Raptors got the start they were hoping for on the first leg of a gruelling five-game road trip through the Western Conference. Unfortunately, it came at a steep cost.

On a night when Toronto should have been celebrating Pascal Siakam matching his career high with 44 points in a 122-104 victory over the Pelicans on Friday, the team was instead reeling from injuries to a pair of their biggest stars.

Point guard Kyle Lowry injured his surgically repaired left thumb and centre Serge Ibaka went down with a right ankle sprain. After the game, coach Nick Nurse described Lowry’s injury as a “small fracture.”

Lowry departed with just over six minutes left in the second quarter and did not return, while Ibaka twisted his ankle in an ugly incident a few minutes later.

The incident with Lowry appeared to take place late in the first quarter when he tried to swipe the ball away from Derrick Favors and ended up hitting his own hand. The 33-year-old Lowry remained in the game, but was frequently spotted grabbing his thumb and was later subbed out for Marc Gasol.

Lowry’s injury looked innocent enough, but Ibaka’s seemed much more severe at the time. Ibaka went up to block a shot in the dying minutes of the half and came down on Fred VanVleet’s foot. The 30-year-old dropped to the court and remained there for several minutes in noticeable pain. He was helped off the floor and didn’t appear capable of putting much weight on his ankle as he went to the locker room.

The injuries spoiled an otherwise dominating night by the Raptors. Siakam had 10 boards and four assists to go along with his 44 points, 26 of which came in the first half. OG Anunoby scored 21, including 5-for-7 from deep, while Norm Powell chipped in with 18.
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