Lowry cites influence of MJ, Kobe after saving game ball for Scariolo
Scott Audette / National Basketball Association / Getty

Kyle Lowry sat on the scorer's table twirling the game ball after his franchise-record 16th triple-double during the Toronto Raptors' 122-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday, intending to keep it as a memento.

However, the ball wasn't destined for his own trophy cabinet. Lowry delivered it to Raptors assistant coach Sergio Scariolo, who shepherded the team to victory while most of the coaching staff - including head coach Nick Nurse - was in isolation due to the league's health and safety protocols.

"Kyle is always extremely attentive to those details, the little things which really make a difference to make a team feel like a family, a group of people who are really taking care for each other, and I really appreciate that," Scariolo said postgame, according to Sportsnet's Steven Loung.

Lowry said watching some of the game's past legends take care of their colleagues inspired him.

"I remember seeing Michael Jordan grab the game ball ... and I've seen Kobe (Bryant) do it," he said, according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg. "... It's something that you'll always have in your family forever, and it's just special for that individual."

Scariolo echoed Lowry's sentiment, noting that Friday's game ball will be the prized piece in his personal "museum" someday.

"Even if it's not the championship basketball, it's going to be my top priority," he added.

In keeping with NBA rules, the final result against Houston still went on Nurse's coaching record, but the win was effectively Scariolo's first as an NBA head coach.

The 59-year-old Italian joined the Raptors as an assistant in 2018 after a distinguished tenure in Europe.

Lowry cites influence of MJ, Kobe after saving game ball for Scariolo
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