One night after earning a tough road win over one of the East's premier teams in the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors returned home to earn a win over another top team in the Indiana Pacers.
Kawhi Leonard rested, Kyle Lowry returned and contributions came from across the board as Toronto made use of its depth to earn the 16-point win.
Here are four takeaways from Sunday's game…
Kyle Lowry's return
Kyle Lowry tallies 12 PTS & 8 ASTS, as the @Raptors win in his return to action! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/fC9KhU207C- NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2019
Kyle Lowry returned to action Sunday night after missing the team's last six games and 10 of the last 11 games
He didn't disappoint.
In under 32 minutes of action, Lowry finished with 12 points to go along with eight assists, three rebounds and three steals. After the team initially ruled Lowry's absence as indefinite, it was clear he was ready to get back to it tonight.
Unlike his last performance in the team's loss to Philadelphia, Lowry looked comfortable on the floor, had his timing back and was able to impact the game in ways that don't show up on a stat sheet.
Toronto is a very dangerous team when the 3-pointer is falling.
For just the third time this season, the Raptors shot over 50 percent from deep against the Pacers as they connected on 17 of their 33 attempts (51.5 percent) on the night - one night after shooting 14-for-31 in Milwaukee.
It's a stark contrast from the Pacers shooting performance, as they shot just 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Raptors were plus-39 from deep as they knocked down 13 more triples than the Pacers and advanced to 21-2 on the season when shooting a better 3-point percentage than their opponent.
Spreading the wealth
In Sunday's win, the Raptors quite literally spread the wealth.
Much is often made of the team making the extra pass and tonight that materialized in the form of 30 assists on 44 made field goals (68.2 percent). Eight different Raptors players recorded at least one assist, led by eight from both Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, six from Delon Wright and four from Pascal Siakam.
In addition to eight players getting in on dishing out assists, eight different Raptors finished in double figures led by a season-high 23 points from Norman Powell, who finished the night shooting 10-for-12 from the field.
.@npowell2404 scored a season-high 23 PTS (10/12 FG) to lead the @Raptors in Toronto! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/ggvQ8lp2PG- NBA TV (@NBATV) January 7, 2019
Reserves bounce back
Saturday in Milwaukee, the Raptors earned a big win over the Bucks in spite of getting just five points from their bench. Sunday, Toronto's bench bounced back in a major way as bench scoring proved to be a major difference.
Led by Powell's 23 points, the Raptors bench outscored the Pacers reserves 52-27; Delon Wright and Greg Monroe also scored in double figures with 10 and 11 points, respectively. In addition to his scoring, Wright added six assists, four rebounds and two steals in just over 25 minutes of action.
With Kawhi Leonard and Jonas Valanciunas out and Fred VanVleet remaining in a starting role, the team's rotation will look much different once it is back at full strength making this team's performance in a win over one of the league's hottest teams all the more impressive.