Dwane Casey sees the positives despite Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan's shooting

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Football News

The Toronto Raptors levelled their Eastern Conference semi-finals series with the Miami Heat after a dramatic overtime win at the Air Canada Centre. 

Following a tough game one defeat that saw the Heat win the game despite Kyle Lowry's incredible buzzer-beater to tie the score after four quarters, much of the talk was about the point guard's inability to shoot the ball as he finished with just seven points. 

Despite the game two win, much of the focus was again on Lowry - and his backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan - as they, once again, struggled to replicate their form from the regular season.

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However, Toronto head coach Dwane Casey was not worried and insisted it was a positive the Raptors were finding different ways to win. He also claimed there was a bigger issue than jump shooting after the 96-92 win. 

He said: "I'm encouraged, we got to take it. Again, we can harp on about the negatives and beat that drum, beat it death, but again we are finding other ways to win and that is very encouraging.

"There is other ways to win a game other than shooting the basketball and I thought Kyle contributed to that; DeMar contributed."

"Those guys, they are not going anywhere so we have got to continue to go with them, find ways to help them get easier shots and again, hopefully, get their rhythm - play from there. There is other ways to win a game other than shooting the basketball and I thought Kyle contributed to that; DeMar contributed.

"The more concerning thing was our free throws - we missed 12 free throws which is probably more concerning than some of the jump shots, we have played two excellent defensive teams; one in Indiana and one here."

Lowry shot 31.8 percent from the field for his 18 points but was just 1-of-7 from three-point territory. It was a vast improvement on his game one performance. However, given his regular season form, where he averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game, his displays in the postseason have been a real disappointment. 

DeRozan has also been struggling somewhat, although, he showed his true class in crucial game five and seven wins over the Indiana Pacers as he dropped 30 points or more on both occasions. 

He ended game two with 20 points, shooting 40.9 percent from the field. The shooting guard's free throw accuracy was a concern as he managed to connect with just two of his eight attempts on the night. 

The real hero for the Raptors was Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas. With the Heat leading by seven with six minutes remaining, the center scored 11 points and won seven rebounds in the fourth quarter.

He ended the night with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists in his 39 minutes of action - contributing to a plus/minus of 17. 

The series moves to the Sunshine State tied at 1-1.

DeMar DeRozan
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kyle Lowry

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