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Dinos & Digits: The Return of Kyle Lowry

This week, we look at Lowry’s return and a few other little tidbits about the team as we approach the end of the regular season.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Dinos & Digits, a column where we dive into the box scores and find five interesting or strange Raptors statistics and put them on front street for discussion.

We like to explore a mix of both individual player and team statistics, ranging from raw box score numbers to some interesting and funky advanced metrics. The goal is to present the numbers without too much opinion attached, leaving those debates for the comment section.

OK, let's get down to it. Here are this week's interesting digits:

The three-man lineup of Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Serge Ibaka had a net rating of 34.5 (117.1 offensive rating and 82.6 defensive rating) over 12 minutes of action in their first game played together on Wednesday night.

It’s a very small sample size, but it’s nice to see that the pieces fit together relatively well right away, considering that they are playing together for the first time only a few games before the start of the postseason.

Kyle Lowry had a game score (a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game) of 27.1 against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

That’s his eighth-highest mark of the season. What rust?

Kyle Lowry is the team’s franchise leader in career win shares per 48 minutes (.179), box plus/minus (5.4), and value over replacement player (23.0)

When it comes to all-in-one advanced metrics that denote how valuable a player is to a team, Lowry grades out near the top spot in team history in pretty well all of them.

To understand how these numbers are calculated and what exactly they mean, see’s glossary.

This season is the third in Raptors history in which three different players have had a player efficiency rating (PER) over 20.

This year, DeMar DeRozan leads the team in PER at 23.8, Kyle Lowry is close behind at 23.1, and Jonas Valanciunas rounds it out at 20.1.

The same trio accomplished the feat last year as well, while the only other time that it has happened in team history was in 2007-08 when Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, and T.J. Ford did it.

This marks the first time in team history that the Raptors have made the postseason four years in a row.

Their only other playoff stints were three consecutive appearances from 2000 to 2002 and two straight in 2007 and 2008. This marks their ninth appearance overall over 22 seasons.

All stats courtesy of,, and