WARNING: This is a Toronto Raptors hype post. Proceed at your own will.
What else is one supposed to think about the Raptors after they just blasted the defending NBA champs (who had each of their four superstars in the lineup) 113-93 on the road, without potential MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard in the lineup?
That’s a season sweep against the odds-on championship favourites, if you’re keeping track.
It was no Klaw, no problem on this night. It has been that way for Toronto pretty much whenever he’s been on the sidelines this season as the team climbed to 7-1 without its star. The Raps are as deep as the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and it was a familiar face stepping up on this night reminding us not to sleep on that Kyle Lowry guy — it’s usually just a matter of time before he starts balling again.
Before subbing out with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lowry put up 23 points and 11 assists for the 100th double-double of his career, adding five rebounds and three steals while the Raps were plus-17 with K-Low on the floor.
In just 29 minutes, Serge Ibaka was an absolute savage at both ends of the floor, too. He put up 20 points, grabbed 11 boards and had an exceptional defensive performance in the paint while altering perimeter shots all night. It’s safe to say he was a big factor in the Raptors holding the Warriors to just six threes and 93 points in all — a home court anomaly for Golden State.
The Raptors sit atop the NBA’s standings with four more wins than any other team, while their 23-7 record ties the best start in franchise history through 30 games. Toronto is now 12-3 on the road, with two of those three losses coming in overtime.
Toronto is also the NBA’s best on the second night of back-to-backs, with a 5-0 record, averaging 123.2 points and a +17.8 differential over those contests.
It’s the second time the Raptors have beaten Golden State this season after a thrilling 131-128 overtime win a couple weeks ago in a game that featured a Draymond Green- and Steph Curry-less Warriors squad. At the time, that left the door open for plenty of excuses from Golden State fans (as well as realistic Raptors ones).
To put this recent win into perspective a little bit more, the last time Toronto won in Oakland, Vince Carter was still a Raptor.
That was back in 2004, baby.
If you don’t have your calculator on hand I’ll save you the trouble: That was a long, long time ago.
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