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Counting down the top 10 Raptors games of the 2019-20 season: #10 to #6

While this NBA season is an indefinite suspension, we looked back at the top 10 Raptors games of this season — so far. Today we go from number 10 to six.

Atlanta Hawks v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

In what was supposed to be a transitional year for the Raptors, a hard-nosed team with an abundance of fiery young talent emerged. Toronto’s newly instilled, championship confidence led them to the top of the league’s power rankings.

On Twitter, those who left the Raptors out of their playoff predictions were ridiculed en masse. Memes upon memes emerged regarding scarves, and whether or not Serge Ibaka “does art.” As the season progressed and the wins piled up (despite many, many notable injuries), it appeared that Raptors fans may be watching the most fun season in franchise history.

Unfortunately, the fun came to an abrupt halt on March 11 when the NBA suddenly suspended the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. We were left reeling, forced to look back fondly on a season that should be ramping up towards the playoffs by now.

So, we decided to pore over the 2019-20 regular season and decide on the top 10 Raptors games based on three criteria:

  1. How fun was the game?
  2. How memorable was the game?
  3. How important was the matchup?

In each of the three categories, we both scored the games individually from 1-10. Then, we added up our scores to determine the order.

Here are some honourable mentions that just missed the cut from out top 10 list. To view the game highlights, click the link:

Without further ado, please enjoy part one of Raptors HQ’s Top 10 Raptors Games of 2019-20. Part one will feature games 10 to 6.

Game Rank No. 10: Mar 5, 2020 - Raptors 121, Warriors 113

  • Fun Factor: Dylan - 9, Sully - 8
  • Memorability: Dylan - 9, Sully - 8
  • Importance: Dylan - 7, Sully - 5
  • Game score: 46

Stephen Curry’s long-awaited return from injury came against the Toronto Raptors, his finals foe. Of course, this Warriors team looked nothing like it did in June 2019, but there was still plenty of excitement to be found. Norman Powell went off for a career-high 37 points while Curry dazzled with a few ludicrous, classic Steph shots. Oh, and did I mention Kyle Lowry had 26 points and 10 assists? Hmmm, where have we seen that statline before?

Game Rank No. 9: Dec. 28, 2019 - Raptors 113, Celtics 97

  • Fun Factor: Dylan - 9, Sully - 8
  • Memorability: Dylan - 9, Sully - 5
  • Importance: Dylan - 8, Sully - 8
  • Game score: 47

Who doesn’t love a good revenge game? Three days prior, a healthy Celtics team stormed into Toronto on Christmas Day and dominated a depleted Raptors squad (sans Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell); however, this time around, the Raptors meant business. Patrick McCaw scored a season-high 18 points on 8-for-12 from the field to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds. Kyle Lowry dropped 30, and Fred VanVleet put on a defensive clinic with five steals.

Despite getting the short end of the whistle (32 fouls compared to Boston’s 17), the Raptors out-hustled and out-performed their Eastern Conference rival en route to a 16-point victory.

Game Rank No. 8: Feb 23, 2020 - Raptors 127, Pacers 81

  • Fun Factor: Dylan - 9, Sully - 9
  • Memorability: Dylan - 8, Sully - 8
  • Importance: Dylan - 7, Sully - 7
  • Game score: 48

Everything about this game was insane. The Raptors flew out of the gates with a 21-3 lead with everything going their way on offense and defense. They hit their shots with ease to start and the Pacers missed their everything, even layups that literally anyone would make 10/10 times. The game was pretty much over after the first quarter as Toronto cruised to their biggest margin of victory, winning by 46.

This ended being one of the more all-around games for the Raptors as they had six players in double figures that included a 16 point, 11 assist, seven rebound, five steal line by Lowry, a 15-15 game by Ibaka, and a career-high by Matt Thomas, recording 17 points.

Game Rank No. 7: Nov. 13, 2019 - Raptors 114, Trail Blazers 106

  • Fun Factor: Dylan - 10, Sully - 8
  • Memorability: Dylan - 9, Sully - 7
  • Importance: Dylan - 7, Sully - 8
  • Game score: 49

After dominating the Lakers a couple of nights ago before this contest without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors rolled into Portland and had to one-up themselves without them yet again. Spoiler alert: they did. Down early in the game, the Raptors went to Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet to answer their calls. Spicy P went off for 36 points on 15-for-28 shooting from the field that included absurd pull-up shots from everywhere on the floor in which we thought would take him a while to develop. Steady Freddy added to Siakam’s monster night by running the offensive and drained several key shots to keep Portland from coming back.

What’s even more impressive is that the Raptors’ defense zeroed in on Damian Lillard, holding him to an abysmal nine points on 2-for-12 shooting, snapping his 230-game streak of scoring in double figures. Following Portland’s loss immediately prompted the organization to sign Carmelo Anthony.

However, there was a silver lining that came out of this, that being Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. After getting called out by Nick Nurse in training camp, Hollis-Jefferson figured it all out in one night by playing tremendous defense on Lillard while grabbing every rebound and every loose ball that came his way. He was everywhere in this game, which led to the birth of “Rondae Hustle-Jefferson”.

Game Rank No. 6: Mar. 9, 2020 - Raptors 101, Jazz 92

  • Fun Factor: Dylan - 9, Sully - 10
  • Memorability: Dylan - 9, Sully - 8
  • Importance: Dylan - 8, Sully - 8
  • Game score: 52

Two minutes into this game, all Raptors fans groaned simultaneously as Norman Powell collided with OG Anunoby under the basket and injured his ankle (little did we know at the time that he would have ample time to recover… sigh). Norm had been on an absolute tear in the games leading up to this contest, begging the question of who would take over his role as a scorer. As it turns out, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam all got the message, combining for an impressive 75 points between them.

Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think and please make sure to check back in for part two, dropping tomorrow.