Before signing a three-year, $100-million deal to remain with the Toronto Raptors, point guard Kyle Lowry seriously considered joining the San Antonio Spurs in the offseason. Lowry told the San Antonio Express-News that he would love to join the Spurs but it did not work out. “I mean this place would've been a great place,” said the 31-year-old Lowry, a three-time All-Star in his six years with the Raptors.

According to Lowry, aside from the Spurs’ culture and winning tradition, he was intrigued by head coach Gregg Popovich, whom he considers one of the best coaches in the history of the NBA.

Aside from Lowry, the Spurs also expressed interest in Chris Paul, George Hill and Derrick Rose with Tony Parker out with a ruptured quad tendon injury. Last season, Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds for the Raptors.

Spurs down Raptors to improve to 3-0

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and grabbed eight boards and Danny Green added 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocks to lead the Spurs to a close 101-97 triumph over the Raptors Monday at AT&T Center. Point guard Dejounte Murray added 16 points, 14 boards, and six assists, Rudy Gay added 11 points off the bench and Kyle Anderson chipped in 10 markers as the Spurs improved to 3-0 even without superstar Kawhi Leonard and Parker.

Reserve center Joffrey Lauvergne and Manu Ginobili added nine points off the bench for San Antonio, who won despite committing 20 turnovers.

Lowry scored only eight in loss to Spurs

DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting, Serge Ibaka and CJ Miles added 13 points apiece while Jakob Poeltl tallied 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Raptors suffered their first defeat of the season.

Lowry struggled against the Spurs, scoring just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field with just two rebounds and three assists. The Raptors played without big man Jonas Valanciunas, who was listed as day-to-day with an ankle sprain.

It was a close first half, with 10 ties and eight lead changes and neither team holding more than a six-point edge in the first 24 minutes of play.

The game was tied at 85-all in the last 5:55 before the Spurs dropped a 9-0 bomb that gave them a more comfortable 94-85 cushion with 3:08 to play. The Spurs later made it a 10-point advantage behind Aldridge’s three-point play. The Spurs will next play the Miami Heat Wednesday while the Raptors play the Golden State Warriors.