Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry out until playoffs

Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry has missed the past two games with a wrist injury that the team revealed Monday will need surgery.

Lowry, 30, is having the best season of his 11-year NBA career, averaging 22.8 points, 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

The Raptors are 35-24 and tied with the Wizards for third place in the Eastern Conference standings. They are only 2.5 games ahead of the fifth-place Atlanta Hawks, so losing Lowry for what looks like at least the rest of the regular season could cost Toronto home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason.

Last year, the Raptors finished second in the East and made it all the way to the conference finals, where they lost to the eventual NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Their path to a repeat of that performance will be a whole lot tougher without their influential point guard, who plays a team-high 37.7 minutes a game.