Toronto Raptors

Through The Lens: The moments that defined 2020 for the Toronto Raptors

With 2020 coming to a close, take a trip down memory lane to relive the most memorable moments of the year for the Toronto Raptors.

Kyle Lowry makes Raptors history

In Toronto's win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 28, 2020, Lowry recorded his 3,771st assist as a member of the Raptors, surpassing Jose Calderon for the most in franchise history.

"Pretty high," Lowry responded when asked where the accomplishment ranks. "To pass a guy like Jose, it means a tremendous amount. He was one of the best players in this [team's] history, one of the best passers this organization has ever had, one of the greatest people ever.

"It means a lot for me to pass him but to be here and to do it this long, for this franchise, it means the world."

Keep on winning

With a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 10, the Raptors set a franchise record with their 15th straight victory.

The previous franchise record? 11 straight wins, accomplished on two separate occasions.

Pascal Siakam becomes an All-Star

Siakam established himself as one of the league's rising stars in 2019-20, averaging 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He earned enough votes to start in the All-Star Game alongside Trae Young, Kemba Walker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid from the Eastern Conference.

Siakam became the sixth player in franchise history to become an All-Star, joining Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard.

Kyle Lowry sets the bar

Lowry joined Siakam at the All-Star Game and made more history in the process, breaking a three-way tie with Chris Bosh and Vince Carter for the most All-Star selections in franchise history with six.

Lowry made his presence felt in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game with not one, but two drawn charges in the fourth quarter.

Hitting the restart button

On March 11, 2020, the NBA season was suspended in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The season resumed on July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The Raptors were one of 22 teams who participated in the season restart.

A regular season to remember

The Raptors closed the 2019-20 regular season with a win over the Denver Nuggets. Stanley Johnson led the way for the Raptors with 23 points, six assists and four rebounds off the bench.

With the victory, the Raptors finished the season with a 53-19 record. Not only did it give them the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks, it set a new franchise record for best single-season winning percentage.

The Coach of the Year

For his efforts in leading the Raptors to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference despite the team losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the offseason and missing the fifth-most man games due to injury during the season, Nick Nurse was named the 2019-20 Coach of the Year.

Nurse earned 90 of a possible 100 first-place votes for the award.

Nurse joined Dwane Casey and Sam Mitchell as the only coaches in Raptors history to win Coach of the Year.

Sweeping away the competition

The Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs in four games. It marked the first time the Raptors have swept an opponent in franchise history.

OG Anunoby saves the day

Trailing the Boston Celtics 2-0, Anunoby helped keep Toronto's season alive with a last-second 3-pointer over Jaylen Brown in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It's one of the greatest shots in Raptors history and was one of the best plays of the 2019-20 season.

An instant classic

Lowry had one of the best games of his career with the Raptors facing elimination. In Game 6 of Toronto's second-round series with Boston, Lowry led the Raptors to a double overtime victory with 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 53 minutes of play.

Norman Powell and Anunoby also came up big in the win, Powell by scoring 10 points in the second overtime period and Anunoby by closing the game for the Raptors at centre.

The Raptors went on to lose a close one in Game 7, ending their season and title defence.

A new normal

Because of travel restrictions from the Canadian government that were put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Raptors announced that they would start the 2020-21 season playing their home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

The Raptors closed 2020 with a home game at Amalie Arena in a matchup against the New York Knicks on New Year's Eve.

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