Much like a hangover gives you perspective on the regrettable things you did the night before, the morning after a virtuoso basketball performance is the perfect time to put everything into context. You all know the story: Kyle Lowry dropped a career-high 43 points last night, making 15 of 20 shots including a stepback, awe-inspiring game-winner with 3.8 seconds left, to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers. The win both sealed the season series against the conference's best team while simultaneously bringing them within striking distance (two games) of actually overthrowing the top seed for their own.
Given all that context, given the matchup late in the season, given the 43 points, given the dramatic finish - this was undoubtedly one of the great individual performances in Raptors history. But where does it rank with the others?
I'll give you a selection of five of my favourites, then you can tell me what you think in the poll. To stay true to Dwane Casey's post-game comments about this being "just another game", I'm limiting this to regular season performances (and Raptors wins, because that matters too).
Bosh's 41 tops the Magic - March 2007
Chris Bosh had better point totals for the Raptors, but this 41-point outburst was his career high at the time and came against one of the best frontcourts in the Eastern Conference. Probably not in the running, but it's a fun highlight package to watch from peak Bosh era.
DeMar DeRozan has 42 to beat Conference Finals-bound Houston - March 2015
The most recent one I can think of, this was a huge win for a Raptors team stuck in the mud late in the regular season. Much like other games at this point in the year, DeMar DeRozan needed to pull a lot of the load and was up to the task, scoring 42 with a few huge late-game buckets.
The real challengers for Lowry, though, obviously come from Vinsanity. Let's get into those.
Carter's 45 beats Jalen Rose's 42 in OT thriller - December 2000
Vince Carter had 45 points in an overtime thriller against the defending NBA finalist Indiana Pacers in December 2000. Jalen Rose had 42 in the game, offering a one-to-one matchup worthy of its billing.
Carter has 47 and all-time windmill in win over Bucks - February 2000
A month to remember for Vince Carter, with two incredible individual performances. His first was on February 7, as he poured in 47 points for a win against the Milwaukee Bucks, getting his last bucket with an exclamation point - a fast break windmill that's still one of the best in-game dunks in NBA history.
Vince Carter scores 51 against Phoenix (on NBC!) - February 2000
Two weeks later, in his first game on national television, Carter bested his own franchise high with 51 points - a record that he now shares with Terrence Ross, but still stands to this day. Just letting the tape speak for itself, this is a tough one to beat.
What's your pick? If I missed your favourite, put it into the comments section.