With the 2019-20 season temporarily on hold, our daily need for basketball has never been greater.
In an attempt to fill that void, we've decided to hop into the time machine while we wait for Toronto Raptors games to resume by revisiting some of the biggest moments in franchise history.
Today, we're going back to last season when the Raptors secured their 50th win of the season, thanks in part to a big night from Jeremy Lin against his former team.
Jeremy Lin scores 20, Toronto Raptors cruise past New York Knicks for 50th win of the season
The Toronto Raptors earned their 50th win the season with a 128-92 win over the New York Knicks Monday night. The Knicks, who fall to 14-57 on the season, were led by 22 points from undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier.
It was a balanced effort from the Raptors, who saw eight different players finish in double figures. Jeremy Lin led the way with 20 points while Fred VanVleet scored 13 points to go along with a game-high 12 assists.
While Kyle Lowry finished the night with 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds, he left the game in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
Here are some takeaways from the Raptors' convincing win…
The mark of sustained excellence.
With Monday night's win, the Raptors moved to 50-21 on the season, securing the fourth consecutive 50-win season for the franchise.
With Cleveland's streak coming to an end earlier this year, Toronto now owns the longest 50-win streak in the Eastern Conference and the second-longest 50-win streak in the league (Golden State is nearing six straight).
Considering the fact that the franchise's first 50-win season began this four-year run, this is an extremely impressive feat. Since the 2015-16 season, the Raptors have established themselves as a perennial contender in the league.
Spreading the wealth
Prior to Monday night, Lin's best scoring night as a Raptor came on March 8 as he finished with 14 points (on 6-for-9 shooting) in a blowout win over the Pelicans.
Lin outdid himself against his former team Monday night, finishing with 20 points (on 7-for-11 shooting) in under 27 minutes of action. It's Lin's fourth 20-point game of the 2018-19 season, with two coming against the Raptors as a member of the Hawks.
As previously mentioned, Lin, VanVleet and Lowry were three of eight Raptors to finish in double figures. Pascal Siakam added 19, OG Anunoby chipped in with 14, Danny Green finished with 13 points, Marc Gasol scored 12 and Norman Powell scored 10 off the bench.
Whole lotta dimes last night.- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 19, 2019
36 of 'em to be exact. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/2GFdKBoxne
In addition to the team's eight double-figure scorers, it assisted on 36 of its 49 (73.4 percent) made field goals. The Raptors, who average 25.0 assists per game, advanced to 15-1 on the season when recording 30 or more assists.
The second night of back-to-backs
Vet talk, uh yeah pic.twitter.com/ez218rBkfC- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 19, 2019
Sometimes, it's how you respond.
After a disappointing road loss at the hands of the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the Raptors bounced back in a big way with their dominant performance against the Knicks Monday.
Even more impressive than bouncing back is the fact that Toronto now moves to 9-3 in the second game of a back-to-back this season. The Raptors handled business despite the fact that Kawhi Leonard rested for load management Monday.
It's encouraging that the Raptors were able to respond in this manner, especially considering the fact that extra rest will be afforded to the team in the postseason as there will be no more back-to-backs.
On to Oklahoma City…
On a night where Leonard sat and no Raptor played more than 30 minutes, the team was afforded ample rest as it heads into a unique home-and-home with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and Friday night.
While Lowry's status for Wednesday night is uncertain, Leonard should be back in the lineup and Serge Ibaka will return from his three-game suspension as Toronto travels to OKC.
The Thunder, who have lost three straight, will be playing with desperation as they are in serious danger of falling in the Western Conference standings. With the teams facing off twice in three days, this regular-season series will have the feel of a playoff series as plenty of adjustments from each coach is to come in must-win games.
Toronto, of course, would go on to win eight of its last 11 games to finish the season with a 58-24 record, good for second in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors made use of this seeding to go on a historic playoff run, defeating the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors to earn the first-ever title in franchise history.
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