The Toronto Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 133-113 for their second consecutive victory.
Pascal Siakam had a monster game to shake off any remaining signs of his slump, Norman Powell continued to flourish in his role as the team's interim starting shooting guard and Kyle Lowry climbed up the Raptors' franchise record book with a double-double.
For more on tonight's win, we have you covered with 10 thoughts on the game.
1. Patrick McCaw was the first player off the bench.
This could mean something. This could also mean nothing at all.
McCaw missed the first two games of the season with a knee issue, played in two games, then missed the next 18 games after receiving surgery on his injured knee.
He made his first return to the lineup in the Raptors' loss to the Clippers last week and played in the win against the Nets over the weekend, but didn't make much of an impact in either contest.
In this one, he was the first player head coach Nick Nurse went to off the bench and he immediately knocked down two 3s. Per TSN's Josh Lewenberg, Nurse was "raving" about how good McCaw's shot looked in training camp.
2. Patrick McCaw also had a beautiful steal and behind-the-back pass to Norman Powell for a big time finish.
I bet you didn't expect these first two "thoughts" to be about Patrick McCaw.
Here, he pokes the ball lose, runs out in transition and drops a perfect behind-the-back bounce pass to Norman Powell for a massive dunk.
This is what you love to see pic.twitter.com/iBQY9mmxDb- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 17, 2019
3. Chris Boucher took Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's minutes.
Once Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry returned to the lineup, you could foresee that some of the bench players that had played so well during their absence would have to take a back seat.
At first, it appeared that Chris Boucher was going to see his playing time suffer as he only eclipsed double-digit minutes once over the next six games including one "Did Not Play - Coach's Decision."
Well, the tides seemed to have turn in his favour as he got the nod over Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in this one.
Chris Boucher played 13 minutes finishing with seven points, five rebounds and one assist in providing good energy off the bench.
Hollis-Jefferson did not play in this contest.
4. Norman Powell must have drank "Micahel's Secret Stuff" from Space Jam.
It's the only explanation.
Norman Powell has been a completely different player as of late.
He's been a lights-out shooter, a constant source of offence and has gotten the job done on the defensive end as well.
Since filling in for Fred VanVleet as the team's starting shooting guard, he's averaging 22.5 points shooting a blistering 61.4% from the field and 50.0% from three.
He had another great game tonight with 26 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block. He shot 11-for-15 (73.3%) from the field and 4-for-6 (66.7%) from beyond the arc, as his hot hand has yet to cool off.
5. Pascal Siakam's slump is over.
There was a lot of talk about Pascal Siakam's slump when the Raptors went on that 1-4 losing skid.
He slowly worked his way into better looking stat lines, but he still struggled to get back to his typical efficiency. During that stretch, he would also have strong first halves, but wouldn't close games with the same energy.
All of that went out the window in this one, as Siakam looked like his usual self.
He finished with a game-high 33 points to go with four rebounds and four assists shooting 13-for-24 (54.2%) from the field and a sharp 5-for-8 (62.5%) from 3-point land.
His scoring efforts were balanced as well - making improvements from that rough patch - scoring nine points in the first quarter, five in the second, 13 in the third and six in the fourth.
It's good to have their go-to guy back and clicking.
6. Those two players connected on the highlight of the game.
Pascal Siakam throws it way up, Norman Powell throws it down with authority.
LAWD HAVE MERCY @npowell2404 😱 pic.twitter.com/640RieGoNt- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 17, 2019
7. Getting out in transition - like that play - was the difference in the game.
The Raptors turned this game into a track meet and the Cavaliers couldn't keep up.
They were flying down the court every time they corralled a defensive rebound or forced a turnover and Cleveland had no answer.
Toronto outscored the Cavaliers 29-4 in fast break points, playing a key role in the outcome of the game.
8. Kyle Lowry bounce-back game.
The Raptors' floor general had yet to look completely comfortable since returning from his fractured thumb.
He had strong performances against the 76ers and Rockets but in the four other games, he didn't have his best showing. Lowry was averaging 15.2 points and 7.2 assists over those six contests, but was shooting just 29.9% from the field and 21.3% from 3-point range.
He looked back to normal in this contest, going for 20 points, 11 assists and four rebounds. He also had this really smooth hesitation move that you need to see.
Siiiiiiiike pic.twitter.com/tixB8mELkH- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 17, 2019
9. He is now tied for the third-most double-doubles in franchise history.
With this double-double, Kyle Lowry now ranks third all-time in franchise history with 110 double-doubles - tying him with Antonio Daniels.
The only players with more double-doubles than Lowry are Jonas Valanciunas (137) and the franchise leader Chris Bosh (239).
10. What's next for the Raptors?
With the win, the Raptors advance to 18-8 on the season and are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Next up, Toronto travels to Detroit to take on former head coach Dwane Casey and the Pistons on Wednesday for one quick road game before returning home.
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