The Toronto Raptors have finally done it - they've pulled off the first sweep in franchise history.
Routing the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 behind a number of franchise-historic feats, the Raptors will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to take on the Boston Celtics.
Before the day turns and we look to what's ahead in the playoffs, here's nine things to take note of from Game 4.
1. First sweep in franchise history
For the first time in the 25-year history of the Raptors, they've pulled off a clean sweep with this Game 4 win over the Nets.
With this Toronto sweep, they leave the LA Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves behind as the only two franchises remaining in NBA history to never achieve the feat.
2. Lowry did not return after ankle injury in first quarter
Game 4 got out to a less than ideal start when All-Star guard Kyle Lowry went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter.
Lowry was pushing the ball up the floor when he stepped on Nets guard Chris Chiozza's foot, turning his left ankle. He would try and play through it but quickly realized he wouldn't be able to and committed an intentional foul to check out of the game.
Shortly thereafter, the Raptors announced Lowry would not return to the contest, leaving The Field House to have imaging done on his ankle. The severity of the injury is still to be determined.
Lowry finished the contest with two points, two rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in nine minutes of playing time.
3. Playoff Powell
Norman Powell became Lowry's replacement in this contest and didn't skip a beat.
Toronto's sixth man exploded onto the scene, erupting for 29 points shooting an efficient 9-for-14 from the field and 5-for-9 from 3-point range. His scoring output was the most off the bench by Raptor in franchise history.
He also had a pair of electrifying dunks, as you can see below.
First, it was this jam in the second quarter...
PLAYOFF POWELL IS A PROBLEM 😤 pic.twitter.com/liJ1scDfxn- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 23, 2020
... and then again in the third quarter. This time, on elite rim protector Jarrett Allen.
NORMAN "PLAYOFF" POWELL- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 24, 2020
NUFF SAID pic.twitter.com/71AJGCKRvy
Powell has stepped up time and time again for the Raptors, giving head coach Nick Nurse quality minutes any time he's called upon. Should Lowry miss any time in their Conference Semifinals series against the Boston Celtics, Powell will likely get the start at shooting guard with Fred VanVleet sliding over to point guard.
4. Siakam records a career-high in assists
Normally when Pascal Siakam has a double-double it's with points and rebounds. Tonight, Spicy P was dishing the rock.
Siakam recorded a career-high 10 assists in the contest, making the most out of the attention he received from the defence. After scoring 26 points in a bounce-back Game 3 win, the Nets were keying in on Siakam and he made them pay, finding open teammates at a premium.
His 10 assists produced 22 points for his Raptor teammates, resulting in six 3-pointers and four 2-pointers. Ibaka was the beneficiary of the majority of his dimes (5), while Matt Thomas, OG Anunoby, Davis, Powell and VanVleet all received one assist.
It would add a completely new dimension to his game if Siakam can continue to pass the ball the way he did tonight.
5. Red hot Ibaka
Serge Ibaka is in one of those grooves again.
He missed his first four shots in Game 3, but closed the game a perfect 8-for-8 from the field to provide a much-needed 20 points off the bench. He carried that hot streak into Game 4, converting his first seven shots to extend that streak to 15-for-15 from the field.
He would continue that game in near-perfection, finishing with 27 points shooting 12-for-14 (85.7%) from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Ibaka added 15 rebounds to his totals, proving once again that he is one of the best bench players in the NBA.
For those counting at home, Ibaka shot 20-for-26 (76.9%) from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point range between Games 3 and 4. Efficiency at its finest.
6. Another postseason record broken
The Raptors set a franchise record for points in a playoff game when they poured 134 points on the Nets in Game 1.
They demolished that record in Game 4, going for 154 points to set a new franchise playoff best. The most impressive part of that scoring total - 100 (!) of the 150 points came from Toronto's bench.
One of the biggest questions for this Raptors team entering the postseason was "can they consistently produce on offence?" While Brooklyn isn't exactly a stout defensive team, their offensive production was something to take note of as they move forward in the playoffs.
7. Caris LeVert - the lone bright spot
There wasn't a ton to cover on the Nets side of things in this one, but LeVert was surely worth mentioning.
The Raptors had done a great job keeping LeVert in check so far this series, never scoring more than 16 points, but he finally had his scoring outburst just before his team made an exit from the playoffs.
The 25-year-old had it going immediately, going off for 26 points in the first half - a career-high in scoring by halftime. He'd continue to attack in the second half, finishing with 35 points to go with six rebounds and six assists.
.@CarisLeVert stays attacking#BrooklynStrong | @ImperialDade pic.twitter.com/bCBgwSdiBo- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 24, 2020
In fact, he became the first individual player to score over 30 points against the Raptors since... himself back in February.
If there was anything to take away from the Nets time in the bubble, it's that LeVert has what it takes to be a prolific scorer in this league and will be a terrific third option next to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant next season.
8. Another highlight dunk - this time, from Terence Davis
I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't include this ferocious slam from the rookie Davis.
.@TerenceDavisJr ALL UP ON HIS HEADTOP pic.twitter.com/NWSkQmchnx- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 23, 2020
9. What's next?
The Raptors and Celtics are set to face off in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Both teams pulled off first-round sweeps and are the first two teams to advance in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The date and time for Game 1 is yet to be announced, but according to an NBA official, the earliest it would begin is Friday, Aug. 28 (IST).
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