It wasn't pretty, but the Toronto Raptors (31-12) took care of business on Tuesday by defeating the Atlanta Hawks (12-28) by a final score of 104-101.
From Kawhi Leonard's two-way masterpiece to what could be the last time Vince Carter plays in Toronto, here are five takeaways from the game.
Kawhi Leonard flexing his Defensive Player of the Year muscle
Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors in scoring in this one with a game-high 31 points, doing so on an efficient 11-for-18 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from the 3-point line and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
The Hawks simply didn't have an answer for him.
And yet, as dominant as he was on offense, it was on defense where Leonard came up big down the stretch. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year set a new season-high with six steals, four of which came in the fourth quarter.
Leonard's biggest steal came with 24.4 seconds remaining in regulation. He stripped DeAndre' Bembry and pushed the ball the length of the court, eventually leading to a dunk from Serge Ibaka that gave the Raptors a 102-101 lead.
A THING OF BEAUTY pic.twitter.com/T06uAUqObB- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 9, 2019
Leonard then guarded Trae Young on the ensuing possession and contested his shot perfectly at the rim to force a miss that effectively ended the game.
Down 1 with 17.1 left coming out of a timeout, it was Trae Young going at Kawhi. pic.twitter.com/BL1lr7cvQl- Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) January 9, 2019
Those two possessions were a good reminder of what Leonard is capable of defensively when he's locked in.
Jeremy Lin loves playing the Raptors
Jeremy Lin has a history of playing well against Toronto. Heading into this game, he was averaging 17.6 points per game against the Raptors in his career, by far his highest scoring average against any team in the league.
The most Lin has ever scored against the Raptors was 35 points back when he was with the Charlotte Hornets. He also had one of the more memorable moments of his career in Toronto, when he nailed a game-winning 3-pointer as a member of the New York Knicks.
Lin's season-high this season even came in Atlanta's first matchup with Toronto back on Nov. 21. He didn't surpass that point total on Tuesday, but he started his first game of the season in place of the injured Kevin Huerter and finished as the team's second-leading scorer with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field.
Lin dished out a game-high nine assists in the loss, too.
Lots and lots and lots of turnovers
The biggest reason the Hawks lost is because of turnovers.
Not only are the 27 turnovers the Hawks committed a season-high for the franchise, it's the third-most a team has committed this season. According to NBA.com, the only teams to have finished a game with more are the Philadelphia 76ers (28) and Dallas Mavericks (29).
DeAndre' Bembry was responsible for seven of Atlanta's 27 turnovers against the Raptors. Not far behind him were John Collins and Jeremy Lin with four each, followed by Trae Young, Vince Carter and Dewayne Dedmon with three each.
The Raptors punished the Hawks for being careless with the ball by outscoring them 34-21 in points off of turnovers. It hurt the Hawks the most in the fourth quarter, as they committed eight turnovers compared to only one for the Raptors.
The Raptors were pretty careless with the ball themselves outside of the fourth. They just tidied that part of the game up when it mattered the most.
The clutch play of OG Anunoby
OG Anunoby had one of his better games of the season on Tuesday. The sophomore logged 28 minutes off the bench for the Raptors and led all reserves with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field.
Anunoby played so well leading up to the fourth quarter that Nick Nurse went to him down the stretch in place of Pascal Siakam. Anunoby made the most of the opportunity by scoring a couple of important baskets in the final minutes of the game, one coming on a strong drive that pulled the Raptors within one point, the other coming on a dunk in the closing seconds that sealed the deal.
Anunoby also came up with a couple of steals in the fourth quarter. His defense is something Nurse highlighted after the game.
"He's a good defender, that's always a good starting point," Nurse told Laura Armstrong of The Star.
"He's a good person, that's another good starting point. He's working. And I think there'll be some chances to open things up for him and let him get his little groove back on."
Vince Carter's last game in Toronto?
Vince Carter said he'd "like to come back and play" when asked about his plans for next season, but there's a chance that this was the last game of his career in Toronto.
If it is, Raptors fans gave him the sendoff he deserves by giving him a standing ovation when he first checked into the game at the midpoint of the first quarter.
.@mrvincecarter15 receives standing ovation as he checks in for the 1st time vs. the @Raptors! 👏 pic.twitter.com/mLPZDc4yv3- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) January 9, 2019
Carter went on to play 13 minutes off the bench and score six points on 2-for-5 shooting from the perimeter. One of those misses came on the final possession of the game, as Carter launched a shot from 51-feet that would've forced overtime had it gone in.
According to Blake Murphy of The Athletic, Pascal Siakam showed his respect to the Raptors legend after the game by wearing a t-shirt with Carter's SLAM cover on it.