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Toronto Raptors

Four Takeaways from Pascal Siakam's career-night in Toronto Raptors win over Washington Wizards

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Pascal Siakam [NBA Getty Images]

The Toronto Raptors closed out the Washington Wizards down the stretch to win 129-120.

It was an eventful night between Jeremy Lin's Raptors' debut and Pascal Siakam's career-high as Toronto goes into the All-Star break with the third best record in the NBA.

Here are your takeaways from tonight's win...

Lin's debut

Lin cleared waivers today and was ready to go in uniform for the contest.

He entered the game to a standing ovation...

Then provided exactly what you would have wanted if you're a Raptors fan - he filled the box score in 25 minutes of playing time despite any practice with the team.

Lin finished with eight points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block and a plus/minus of plus-10. He was off on all three of his 3-point attempts but was 3-for-4 from elsewhere on the floor.

He made his impact felt immediately with a steal on his very first possession in a Raptors' uniform, but tried to be a little too unselfish with a turnover in transition.

His first bucket as a Raptor came off of a nice ball fake and finish.

But no two points he scored tonight were smoother than this fancy finish in transition off of a beautiful bounce pass by Kyle Lowry.

He and Lowry were in sync playing alongside eachother, as two of Lin's three made field goals came on Lowry assists.

He showed the energy he can provide on the defensive end off the bench and still found a way to make an impact on the offensive end despite a poor perimeter shooting game.

It's a small sample size but given the fact that he hasn't even had a practice with his new squad yet, Lin's debut was a success.

Siakam's career-night

Siakam may not be headed to Charlotte for All-Star Weekend, but nights like tonight makes you question why.

The breakout third-year player put on a show tonight, carrying the Kawhi Leonard-less Raptors to victory.

Siakam finished with a career-high 44 points in a double-double with 10 rebounds. He shot an extremely efficient 15-for-25 from the field and buried four of his five 3-point attempts while going 10-for-12 from the free throw line.

In a close four-point game with four minutes remaining, he came up with a pair of clutch baskets to extend the Raptors lead before they put the Wizards away for good.

The two buckets put Toronto up by a commanding eight points and they continued to feed his hot hand to close this game out.

This was Siakam's seventh time this season that he has eclipsed his career-high. He started the year with a career-high of 20 points and after tonight, he is the 11th Raptor in franchise history to score 40 points in a game.

Since it's too late to be rewarded with an All-Star bid, this will boost Siakam's already impressive resume for this year's Most Improved Player.

Wizards' new additions

Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis were both acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline and they did what they could to keep their team in the game.

Parker bounced back from scoring zero points in his last game with Washington by dropping 22 points off the bench tonight. He also had nine rebounds and four assists in his 34 minutes of playing time.

As for Portis, he scored 12 points to go with six boards, an assist, steal and block in 29 minutes off the bench. Aside from Parker and Portis, their bench scored one point from Wesley Johnson.

The Wizards depth has been an issue this whole season and the addition of these two off the bench kept things competitive tonight.

Portis has been awesome since the move to Washington averaging 18.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He's reached double-figures in scoring in every contest. Parker has posted 12.3 points per game since joining the Wizards but the most eye-opening stat is his assists - he's averaging 5.3 assists per game, more than double his career average.

Hottest team headed into the break

Tonight's win was the Raptors' sixth consecutive victory, the longest current win streak in the NBA.

The reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors could tie that streak with a win tonight, but regardless Toronto is one of the hottest teams in the league headed into the All-Star break.

They boast the third best record in the league at 43-16 just one game behind the first place Milwaukee Bucks.

The break is timely giving Fred VanVleet a chance to get healthy while also giving Gasol and Lin some time to get accustomed to their new home.

The Raptors have to feel very good about where they are at this point in the season.

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