Lowry back for Heat, comes off bench for 1st time since '13

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Lowry played for the first time in more than a month, and did so without starting for the first time in more than a decade.

The Miami Heat guard, who had missed his team’s last 15 games with left knee soreness, returned to game action at Orlando on Saturday night — coming off the bench. It was his first time playing as a reserve since Jan. 26, 2013.

Lowry had started in each of his last 677 regular-season appearances, with 94 playoff games pushing that streak to 771. He checked in for the initial time with 6:21 left in the opening quarter.

“He’s truly excited about getting back out there,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s worked very diligently behind the scenes to prepare for this. I’m excited to have him back in the mix. We could use another spark right now during this stretch run.”

Gabe Vincent started at point for Miami, with the Heat running a set play for him to get a layup on their opening possession. The first player off the bench to celebrate that score was Lowry.

He had a wrap on his left knee while waiting to get called upon to go into the game, presumably to just keep loose after warm-ups.

“Veteran guys, experienced guys, highly decorated guys, they all tend to figure it out,” Spoelstra said. “They’re all about winning right now.”


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press