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Kyle Lowry came through in the clutch. Will it happen more?

Lowry’s nine straight points offered a taste of what he should provide regularly.

New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Lowry did something Miami Heat fans have seldom seen in the last year-and-a-half — a clutch performance. He scored nine straight points to hold off the shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans, starting with a 3-pointer with 3:03 left in the game.

It was a welcome sight for fans who have grown sour on Lowry during his Heat tenure. Last March, I wrote an article here titled, “Why isn’t Kyle Lowry taking more shots?” As Anthony Chiang recently wrote, Lowry’s usage rate this season would be the lowest of his career aside from his rookie year. His usage rate his first year in Miami was also among the lowest of his career. (Also of note: Lowry was a late first-round pick in 2006 and played just 10 games his first year.)

When asked why he wasn’t shooting that much last season, Lowry responded that he was “getting prepared for the real season.” We know how that turned out. The 2019 NBA champion suffered a hamstring injury in the first round of the playoffs and was a shell of himself when he returned.

This fourth-quarter performance Sunday afternoon is something for Lowry to build on. It has been easy to expect Victor Oladipo to make more of an offensive imprint on the game than Lowry. But Lowry is earning more than $28 million this season; Oladipo is at $8.75 million. Lowry came to Miami to be the third star behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. He’s paid like it. His play should live up to that, too.

During his last year with the Toronto Raptors in 2020-21, Lowry shot 39.6 percent from 3 on 7.2 attempts per game. After shooting 37.7 percent on six attempts from distance last year, Lowry has dipped to 34 percent this season, also on six attempts. (A big problem with Miami this season has been their cratering 3-point percentage.)

Yes, Lowry has a new role this season now that Tyler Herro moved into the starting lineup. He’s playing more off-ball. But he should still make 3s when they’re there. He should also have the ball in his hands depending on the lineup. And he shouldn’t hesitate in the clutch.