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Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) battles for a loose ball with New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) in the second half at Scotiabank Arena.Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

It was a scene no Toronto Raptors fan ever wants to see, let alone less than a month out from the most important playoff run in team history: a pained Kyle Lowry being helped off the floor by medical staff.

During the third quarter of the Raptors’ 128-92 blowout win over the worst team in the NBA on Monday, New York Knicks 7-foot centre Mitchell Robinson got tangled up with Lowry and fell on him. Toronto’s all-star point guard rolled around on the floor, writhing in distress with a lower body injury. Trainers swiftly helped him walk – very gingerly – right to the locker room, and he did not return.

“It’s pretty tender right now. It’s pretty soft and it’s pretty tender right now,” said Lowry after the game. “I’m able to walk, a little bit slower, but I’ll be alright man. I’m not going to complain.”

It was Lowry’s first game back after he had missed two contests due to a left ankle sprain sustained during a hard fall March 11 in Cleveland. On Monday, it was the other ankle he injured.

“I watched the clip. I think it was a little bit dirty. He grabbed me and pulled me down,” said Lowry, who had been scrambling after a ball with Robinson behind him. “But he’s a young kid, so I don’t know if he did it in on purpose or not. But I think he’ll learn his lesson next time and be a little bit more careful.”

Lowry said he would be doing treatment all night Monday, trying to get healthy and didn’t think he would be out for too long.

He had played to 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting in 26 minutes – including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He had added eight assists and six rebounds.

“It’s super frustrating for our team,” said Lowry. “But we’ve done a great job of continuing to have guys step up, in and out of lineups, Freddy being out, myself, Kawhi, integrating Marc in here... everything’s been kind of up and down. But we’re a good team, and all we need is a couple of games on the floor together and we’ll be alright.”

The Raptors, who have been bit repeatedly by the injury bug this season, were fortunate enough to get Fred VanVleet back in action just the previous afternoon.

VanVleet started alongside Lowry on Monday. It was VanVleet’s second game back in the lineup after his 12-game absence due to a left thumb injury. He had a 17-point performance the previous night in Detroit, and followed that up Monday with a double-double − 13 points and 12 assists.

Jeremy Lin had his finest point total yet since joining the Raptors. He lead all Toronto scorers with 20 points, added three rebounds and an assist.

Pascal Siakam put up 19 points, along with eight rebounds. OG Anunoby added 14 points, while Danny Green had 13. Marc Gasol had a double-double too – 12 points and 11 boards.

VanVleet started in place of Kawhi Leonard. A night after he had 33 points against the Pistons in Detroit, Leonard sat out versus the Knicks for load-management reasons, as he’s known to do in back-to-back situations.

This was the last back-to-back situation on Toronto’s regular-season schedule.

Eight different Raptors scored in double digits in the lopsided beating over the Knicks. New York fell to an NBA-low 14-57, a squad just hoping for a top draft pick when the season is over. The win secured the Raptors their fourth straight 50-win season with 11 regular-season games left on the calendar.

With the risk of injury so real every game out, the postseason can’t get here soon enough.

Serge Ibaka was still serving his three-game suspension for an altercation last week in Cleveland with Marquese Chriss.

The Raps shot a red-hot 82.4 per cent from the field in the first quarter Monday, led by perfect shooting from Gasol, VanVleet and Green. They would cool off as the night wore on.

The Knicks contended ever so briefly at the beginning of the night, but before the third quarter was half over, the Raptors were already up by 30 points.

Allonzo Trier had 22 points for the Knicks in the loss.

Next up for the Raps is a home-and-home with the Thunder – Wednesday in Oklahoma City and Friday in Toronto.

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