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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Erik Spoelstra offers extremely high praise for Kyle Lowry

Erik Spoelstra looks on

Feb 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat avoided elimination on Friday with a 111-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Jimmy Butler was the undisputed star of the game with a 47-point performance, but Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra thought Kyle Lowry played just as big of a role in the win.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday after the game, Spoelstra raved about Lowry’s play on the court, and what he has meant to the Heat as a leader in clutch situations.

“I can’t say enough about Kyle and his veteran leadership,” Spoelstra said. “It means so much to us and you can’t put an analytic [to] what it means to your team of the feeling of calm and confidence that he can give everybody.

“He’s one of the all-time clutch players in this league.”

Spoelstra also said that Lowry excels at running the offense in important moments of a game. He even compared having Lowry on the floor in those key moments to having a “Hall of Fame quarterback.”

Lowry certainly rose to the occasion in a must-win Game 6.

After scoring a combined three points and shooting 1-of-12 from the field in Games 4 and 5, Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes. He also made four 3-pointers.

Lowry had a reputation for struggling in the postseason throughout much of his career. But he has turned around that perception in recent years. In his postseason career, he’s averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 assists and 5.7 three-pointers per game.

The Heat will face even greater pressure in Game 7 on Sunday. They will need Lowry to provide a calming presence again if they are to advance to the NBA Finals.

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