Toronto earned its 10th straight home win Tuesday night with a 120-105 win over Sacramento. With the win, the Raptors advanced to 36-13 on the season and remain in a virtual tie with the Bucks for the East's No. 1 seed.
Contributions came from across the board as the team pulled away late from a young, scrappy Kings team on a night where both squads were fairly shorthanded.
Here are five takeaways from the Raptors big win.
It's been 45 days since Toronto suffered a 104-99 loss to Milwaukee - the team's last shortcoming at Scotiabank Arena.
Since losing to the Bucks, the Raptors have won 10 consecutive home games - two shy of a franchise record that was set last season. On the season, Toronto is 21-4 at home, tied with none other than Milwaukee for the league's best home record.
During the team's 10-game win streak at home, it has boasted an Offensive Rating of 113.2 and a Defensive Rating of 102.5 for a very impressive Net Rating of 10.7 .
Equally impressive? Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry have both played in just six of the 10 games in this stretch. Leonard has averaged 31.3 points in the games in which he appeared while Pascal Siakam leads all players who played in each of the 10 home games with 16.6 points per contest.
After the team's upcoming three-game trip, it returns home for a big test and an opportunity to avenge its last home loss at it hosts the Bucks on Jan. 31.
Regardless of the outcome against Milwaukee, Scotiabank Arena will be a tough place for any team to come and get a win in the postseason as the Raptors have one of the league's biggest home court advantages.
A Balanced Attack
Similar to the Pacers win on Jan. 6, the Raptors greatly benefitted from a balanced offensive attack while leading scorer Kawhi Leonard rested.
Led by 19 points from both Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors saw six different players score in double figures. Pascal Siakam was not far behind with 18 points (on 8-for-14 shooting), CJ Miles and Serge Ibaka finished with 15 points apiece and Norman Powell added 11 points while shooting 4-for-7 from the field.
To take things a step further, two more players finished with at least eight points as Delon Wright scored nine points to go along with six rebounds while Montreal native Chris Boucher scored eight points in under 12 minutes.
It is important for the team to be able to fill the void offensively while it is down important pieces such as Leonard, Jonas Valanciunas and OG Anunoby. The next step will be continuing this offensive balance when Leonard returns to the lineup to avoid lulls similar to the one down the stretch in the close loss to Boston.
Marvin Bagley III
Naturally, expectations for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft will be high, but it has been a process for Bagley.
Tonight, in the 34th game of his young career, the 19-year-old made his first-ever start as veteran Nemanja Bjelica was sidelined. Performances like tonight are sometimes when stars are born.
He entered the night averaging 12.4 points and 6.3 rebounds and in his first career start put forth 22 points (on 10-for-20 shooting) and 11 rebounds in just under 38 minutes of action. Seeing a young, versatile 6-foot-11 lefty put forth such a performance in Toronto has to draw parallels to someone else, right?
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Bagley's performance for the Kings (and scary for others) is how much room for growth and development there is with him and his game. Tonight was the second of many 20 and 10 games in Bagley's promising career.
Things have been a little up and down for Fred VanVleet recently.
After being held scoreless in 18 minutes in Boston, the third-year guard scored 15 points (on 6-for-11 shooting) in a win over the Suns. Saturday, VanVleet scored just four points (on 1-for-8 shooting) but dished out seven asssists and was plus-26 on the night as the team cruised to a big win over the Grizzlies.
Tonight, VanVleet set the tone early, scoring 11 of his team-high 19 points in the first frame. To go along with his 19 points, he dished out seven assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
It was an efficient night, too, as he shot 6-for-10 from the field, connected on half of his six 3-point attempts and shot 4-for-5 from the charity stripe.
VanVleet's role is so important as he effectively is the team's sixth starter - when coming off the bench, he leads the second unit but also shares the the floor with the starters at crucial junctures of the game. This season, he has been extremely useful in that he has filled in for Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the starting lineup when they are sidelined.
Tonight was the 19th start of the season for VanVleet and the team is now 16-3 with him in the starting unit. Considering that VanVleet had no career starts prior to the 2018-19 season, his impact is one that should only continue to get greater with time.
The Deep Ball
The Raptors finished the night shooting 16-for-40 from 3-point range (40 percent), a stark contrast from the Kings, who shot 7-for-21 for the game (33.3 percent).
It might seem redundant or overstated, but nights like tonight emphasize the importance of the deep ball to the Raptors offence and the team's overall success. The numbers back this notion as well.
Tonight marked just the ninth time this season that the Raptors knocked down 15 or more triples and the team advanced to 7-2 in such games. It was also just the 14th time in 49 games that the Raptors shot 40 percent from deep or better - the team is 13-1 in those games.
While the 40 percent mark is a bit ambitious, with a roster full of capable shooters that includes the likes of Danny Green, Leonard, Lowry, Miles and VanVleet, the mark of hitting around 15 triples is fairly realistic and will continue to bode well for the team moving forward.