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Recap: Raptors beat the Hornets 92-87, grab franchise-best 49th win

After a season of ups and downs, the Raptors finish on a winning note by beating the Hornets 92-87 and claiming their franchise-best 49th win.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It's finally over, through all the ups of November and December, to the downs of most of 2015. The Toronto Raptors arrive at the end of the 2014-15 season with the best record they've ever had. It wasn't quite 50 wins, but 49 is close enough.

Tonight, the Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 92-87. There was a lot to be happy about. It was announced that everyone with a ticket was eligible for a free slice of pizza, regardless of the score. There was a nice video tribute for PA man Herbie Kuhn and a stirring montage and ovation for the first ever Raps' star, Damon Stoudamire. The game itself wasn't particularly amazing, but a win is a win (as we've been saying all year). And you know what, despite all those aforementioned ups and downs, it feels good to just remember that watching a winning basketball team can be a lot of fun.

As for the game itself, there were many encouraging signs for the Raptors as they head into the playoffs. First and foremost, Kyle Lowry had a solid game with 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting (and 6-for-9 from three) to go with seven assists. DeMar DeRozan continued his strong play with 16 points on an efficient 8-for-13 from the field. And our man in the middle, Jonas Valanciunas feasted on the Hornets' overmatched big man Bismack Biyombo to the tune of 18 points on 9-for-11 shooting. Yes, Ross wasn't great and the bench didn't contribute much (and we should probably light a candle for Amir Johnson), but the team has battled hard to get to this point.

And now we reach the interesting part of the evening: who will the Raptors play in the first round? If the Raptors had lost, it would have been a date with the Washington Wizards, led by our old friend Paul Pierce. Since the Raptors won, it came down to the winner of the Hawks/Bulls game. If the Bulls won, the Raps would be going to Milwaukee for a date with Giannis. Instead: the Bulls pulled it out, 91-85, and the matchups are set.

Starting on Saturday, it's Raptors vs. Wizards. Kyle Lowry vs. John Wall. The City of Toronto vs. Paul Pierce. Oh yeah, and speaking of Lowry:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Does this team have the It Factor? Lowry: [death stare] &quot;Yeah, we do.&quot;</p>&mdash; Daniel Reynolds (@aka_Reynolds) <a href="">April 16, 2015</a></blockquote>

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What do you guys think of everything? The game? The season? The playoffs? Let's get into it.