);
Toronto Raptors

Nine thoughts from the Toronto Raptors action-packed win over the Atlanta Hawks

While this may have seemed like any other regular season contest, this game between the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks had so much more to it.

The contest included a tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant, a tribute to an all-time great Raptor in Vince Carter, a franchise record-breaking moment from Kyle Lowry and Toronto's eighth-consecutive win.

For more on this action-packed win for the Raptors, we have you covered below.

1. Raptors pay tribute to Kobe in first home game since tragedy

This tribute video was followed by a loud "Kobe-Kobe-Kobe" chant from the Scotiabank Arena crowd and 24 seconds of silence in honour of the late legend.

2. Raptors also paid tribute to franchise legend Vince Carter

3. Vince Carter lights up the Raptors just after the tribute video

Immediately after the tribute video during the intermission between the first and second quarter, Vince Carter buried a 3-pointer in OG Anunoby's face, forcing a smile from the Raptors young forward.

Carter went on to score 10 points within the first five minutes of checking into the game, going 4-for-7 from the field and 2-for-4 from 3 in the first half, looking like the version of Vince that played for the Raptors.

4. Kyle Lowry becomes the Raptors all-time leader in assists

Kyle Lowry entered this contest 10 assists shy of passing Jose Calderon as the franchise's all-time leader in assists.

In the fourth quarter, Lowry found Terence Davis on a full court pass that led to a layup to give him his 10th assist of the night, the 3,771st as a Raptor to make him the all-time leader.

Lowry would check out of the game shortly thereafter, finishing the game with a near-triple-double of 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

5. Raptors ramp up their defence on Trae Young

Just one week ago, Trae Young torched the Raptors for 42 points and 15 assists nearly single-handedly carrying the Hawks to a victory.

This time around, Toronto's defence took that past performance personally and made a point to shut down the All-Star guard.

The Raptors entered halftime with a sizable 12-point lead, mostly in-part to their defence on Young. He only had six points at the half shooting 1-for-5 from the field and 1-for-4 from beyond the arc - both of which are ugly percentages, but it's also worth noting their defence forced him to only take five total shots in the half.

Young was passive - and successful in that matter - dishing out seven assists by halftime, but the Raptors were willing to let the Hawks other players try and beat them.

He finished the game with just 18 points shooting 5-for-13 from the field and a rough 1-for-7 from beyond the arc. Young did hand out 13 assists, but the Hawks couldn't keep up with the Raptors without their All-Star's firepower on offence.

6. Marc Gasol left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return

Marc Gasol went to the lockerroom walking gingerly during the third quarter and would not return to the game.

The injury was announced as left hamstring tightness -a weary concern for the Raptors. Gasol had already missed 12 games from mid-December to mid-January with a left hamstring injury and had just returned to the court at the start of the team's seven-game win streak.

He finished the contest with 10 points, two blocks, one rebound and one assist in 17 minutes of playing time.

7. Serge Ibaka steps up

Serge Ibaka did most of his damage prior to the injury that forced Gasol out of the game, but this performance suggests he'll have no problem stepping into the starting lineup for Gasol again should he miss more time.

Ibaka was a force in this one immediately, going for a team-high 15 points in the first half.

He finished the game with a huge double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, and it has to be a good feeling for head coach Nick Nurse and the rest of the team knowing they have player like Ibaka that is ready to pick up an increased load when a player of Gasol's calibre goes down.

8. What's next for the Raptors?

With the win, the Raptors have now won eight-consecutive games. Toronto advances to 33-14 on the season and overtake the Miami Heat for second place in the Eastern Conference. They have Wednesday off before traveling to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Thursday.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

raptors-nets-031120-ftr-getty.jpg
How 22-team return impacts Raptors
Scott Rafferty
basketball-rack.jpg
Report: NBA presents plan for restart of season
Tim Reynolds
brook-lopez-050620-ftr-getty.jpg
Lopez should be getting more DPOY love
Scott Rafferty
vince-carter-050120-ftr-getty.jpg
Carter at peace if NBA career is over
Scott Rafferty
LeBron James
Could break in action benefit LeBron & Lakers?
Sidd Sinha
lebron-james-050820-ftr-getty.jpg
Are LeBron's clutch numbers cause for concern?
Scott Rafferty
More News