Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby has 'the chance to be special,' says Kyle Lowry

The Toronto Raptors opened their four-game Western Conference road trip on Thursday with a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets, but OG Anunoby had another strong performance.

In 34 minutes of play, Anunoby scored a game-high 25 points to go along with three assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block. He scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half, doing so on 6-for-12 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

Anunoby has now scored 20 or more points in six straight games, making for the longest such streak of his career. Prior to this season, he had never had back-to-back 20-point games.

After Toronto's loss to Denver, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was asked if Anunoby has advanced faster than even he expected.

"What did Michael Jordan say? That the ceiling is the roof? Nah, OG has the chance to be special, man.

"I remember he said it after his rookie year, he's like, 'I want to be an All-Star next year.' I said, 'Hold on young fella. Be patient. Let it come. It'll get there.' But he's worked extremely hard to get where he's at and all he's going to do is continue to get better."

Now in his fourth season with the Raptors, Anunoby is averaging 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, all of which are the highest marks of his career. He's shooting an efficient 48.2 percent from the field, 40.1 percent from 3-point range and 78.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Anunoby continues to be a difference-maker on defence as well, averaging 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. According to BBall Index, he's been the most versatile defender in the league this season. He guards primarily power forwards but has spent an almost equal amount of time guarding point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and centres. His ability to guard every position makes him tailor-made for today's NBA.

Anunoby signed a four-year, $72 million extension with the Raptors in the offseason.

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