The Toronto Raptors will be without arguably their most important player Wednesday night versus the Houston Rockets, as they continue their quest to tie up the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference for the NBA Playoffs.
The Raptors say x-rays show starting point guard Kyle Lowry did not suffer any structural damage to his knee as a result of his collision with LeBron James Monday night in the team's loss to the Miami Heat. He tested the knee in light action prior to the 7 p.m tip-off at Air Canada Centre and it was then deemed that he should not play.
Toronto is currently locked with the Chicago Bulls in third place in the Eastern Conference, and although they have already secured a playoff berth, they are trying to also clinch the No. 3 seed in the East.
"There's a pride factor, and we want to win the division and get home court advantage," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey before the game. "There's no use letting off the pedal now. Every game for me is desperate, but it's not live or die, and we're not going to risk a kid's health to do it."
Backup Grievis Vasquez will take his place in the starting lineup, while Julyan Stone is added to the active roster for the game.
"[Vasquez] has been a starting point guard in this league before," said Casey. "Also we have to also see what Nando [De Colo] can do. We want to compete to win, we're not resting people."
The 42-32 Raptors have just eight games left in the regular season before the NBA playoffs begin April 19.