Kyle Lowry had to get 6 stitches in his debut game against the Sixers

Kyle Lowry finished the game with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 25 minutes.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Lowry got six stitches in his gashed forehead in the pattern of a “7,” matching his 76ers uniform number during the North Philadelphia native’s debut for his new team.

But there’s something about being raised Philly tough that motivated Lowry to return after he took an elbow to the head that briefly knocked him out of Thursday night’s game against the New York Knicks.

“I’ll go out there and do my job,” Lowry said, wearing a “20th & Lehigh” sweatshirt, after the Sixers lost 110-96. “We get paid an awful lot of money to go out there and play basketball and be professionals. I’ve been doing this for 18 years now, these games are important to play.”

He’s about to play more important ones for a Sixers team that fell to 6-15 without injured NBA MVP Joel Embiid.

A six-time All-Star, Lowry received a standing ovation late in the first quarter when he checked in for the first time since he signed last week. The public address announcer noted the moment for the Villanova standout, saying, “making his Sixers debut, from North Philly, No. 7 Kyle Lowry!”


“It was a great moment,” Lowry said. “Now for me, it’s about winning basketball games.”

Lowry went up-and-under on the Knicks and scored his first bucket about 40 seconds later. Later, he took an inadvertent elbow to the face on a driving layup from Knicks forward Jericho Sims. Lowry buried his face in a towel and went straight to the locker room.

He got stitched up and returned with an adhesive bandage on his forehead in the third quarter.

“The doctor made a seven in there, so it’s cool,” Lowry said, laughing. “Hopefully it will be a little better (Friday).”

Lowry finished with 11 points in 25 minutes in his first game since Jan. 21 for Miami. Lowry, in the final year of his contract, lost his spot in the Heat’s starting lineup and was traded to Charlotte in late January.

He never played for the Hornets and agreed to a contract buyout after the trade deadline. Lowry signed a $2.8 million deal with the Sixers for the rest of the season. He turns 38 on March 25 and was on a $29.7 million contract.

“I felt OK,” he said off his time off. “I’ve done a good job with my trainers. You can’t emulate actual game play but the last couple of days of practice was great for me.”

Lowry could work his way into game shape and into a starting spot in the backcourt with Tyrese Maxey, an All-Star who has tried to carry the 76ers with Embiid sidelined following knee surgery.

“He was big-time tonight,” Maxey said of his new teammate. “Not just on the court but communication. There were times I was trying to run a different play, he’s like, ‘No, we’re running this play, you’re going to be right here with the ball and you’re gonna do this.’ I’m like, ‘Cool.’ What am I supposed to say? He’s a seven- eight-time All-Star, NBA champion.”

Lowry, who played in college at Villanova, had his homecoming spoiled by three other former Wildcats — New York’s Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo.

“We have four Villanova players out there tonight and it’s always great to be playing against those guys,” Lowry said.

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