Toronto Raptors winning streak sets new Canadian record

Feb 10 2020, 11:05 pm

Add win-streak to the growing list of historical achievements by the Toronto Raptors.

The defending NBA champions took care of business on Monday night, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves by a final score of 137-126 at Scotiabank Arena.

The win marked their 15th in a row as the squad hasn’t lost a game since January 12.

What was already aΒ franchise-best winning streak has now also become a Canadian record.

The Raps have vaulted themselves to a new level and are now the sole record-holders for longest single season win-streak in Canadian professional sports history, doing something no NHL, MLB, MLS, or CFL team has done before.

It was the Calgary Stampeders, the former record-holder, that Toronto passed for longest streak with tonight’s win and that earned them a tip of the hat from the football franchise.

Better yet, they accomplished the feat with key rotation players Marc Gasol, Norm Powell, and Serge Ibaka sitting on the bench.

Toronto got great games from their All-Stars as Pascal Siakam dropped a game-high 34 points and Kyle Lowry was his usual bulldog self, putting up 27 points and 11 assists.

The two unsung heroes in this one; however, were OG Anunoby who had a career-high 25 points with 12 rebounds — the first 20/10 game of his career — and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who was a beast in the small-ball role, starting the game at centre in the absence of Gasol and Ibaka.

For size reference, RHJ stands barely over 6-foot-6 when wearing basketball shoes.

“Coach talks about it all the time, he doesn’t care what shot you take as long as you’re going 100% at it,” Hollis-Jefferson told Sportsnet’s Eric Smith after the game. “He believes in us as players.”

RHJ finished the game with 21 points to his name.

I don’t want to jump the gun here, but with the win Toronto moves to 40-14 (74.0% win percentage) with only one game left before the All-Star break. For those of you keeping track, that puts them at a winning rate higher than last year’s championship team with Kawhi Leonard at the same point in the season — their record at the 2019 All-Star break was 43-16 (72.8%).

The win also spoiled the anticipated debut of Minnesota Timberwolves’ prized trade deadline acquisition DeAngelo Russell, who was moved from the Golden State Warriors in a package for Canadian hooper Andrew Wiggins.

The Toronto Raptors will be on the hunt for their 16th straight when they take the floor in Brooklyn against the nets on Wednesday.

Until then, The North is going streaking.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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