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Toronto Raptors

Seven thoughts: Toronto Raptors 15-game win streak snapped by Brooklyn Nets

The Toronto Raptors historic 15-game win streak has finally come to an end at the hands of a 101-91 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Raptors started this game cold and never warmed up, finishing with one of their worst scoring totals and shooting nights of the season.

Serge Ibaka was a monster and Kyle Lowry notched a triple-double, but as a team, the offensive production wasn't at the level it had been throughout the win streak and the result showed that.

For more on this win streak-snapping contest, we have you covered with some thoughts below.

1. Raptors' lowest scoring first quarter since Christmas

The Raptors were trailing 23-19 after the first quarter, their lowest scoring first quarter since they matched that scoring total on Christmas Day against the Boston Celtics.

They shot 8-for-22 (36.4%) from the field and 2-for-9 (22.2%) from 3, struggling to get much of anything to fall. Their three main scorers - Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet - combined to shoot 3-for-12 (25.0%) from the field and though the Raptors still played strong defence in the frame, it put them behind the 8-ball the whole first half.

2. Raptors offence stalls

It wasn't just the first quarter that the Raptors couldn't find a rhythm; that continued throughout the whole game.

Over Toronto's 15-game win streak, they averaged 121 points per game. They couldn't crack 100 in this contest, shooting 34-for-90 (37.8%) from the field and 13-for-42 (30.2%) from 3 for the game.

This was the Raptors first time shooting under 40.0% from the field since Jan. 8 and although they played tough defence holding Brooklyn to just 40.9% from the field and 25.7% from 3, their lack of offensive production wasn't enough to keep the streak alive.

3. Kyle Lowry's triple-double

Kyle Lowry stuffed the stat sheet for the Raptors, going for a triple-double of 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

This is Lowry's second triple-double of the season, with his first coming in a win over the Detroit Pistons back on Dec. 19. Lowry now has 16 triple-doubles for his career, boasting a near perfect record of 14-2 when he accomplishes the feat.

Meaning this was just the second time in Lowry's career that he recorded a triple-double in a loss. An impressive stat for the 13-year veteran.

4. Serge still came to play

Everything said about the Raptors struggling to get things going in this contest excludes Serge Ibaka, who was arguably the best player on the floor tonight.

Ibaka did everything he could to keep Toronto in the game, knocking down big shots whenever it seemed the Nets would completely pull away. He finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal shooting an efficient 10-for-17 from the field to go with five 3-pointers.

In a game where every other Raptors starter finished with a negative plus/minus, Ibaka was a team-best +3.

Just another example of how valuable Ibaka is to this team, especially when Gasol is out of the lineup.

5. Box-and-1 on Caris LeVert

When these teams met this past weekend, Caris LeVert exploded for a career-high 37 points.

He didn't exactly have that hot of a hand in this contest, but that's also because Raptors' head coach Nick Nurse tailored the team's defence to stopping LeVert at one point in the game.

When Toronto was trying to spark a comeback, they elected to go Box-and-1 - a defence we've seen Nurse go to from time-to-time. LeVert was the one player the Raptors defence singled out, showing the utmost respect for his offensive capabilities.

LeVert finished the game with a strong 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and one block to lead the Nets to victory.

6. Snapping the streak

It was a remarkable run for the Raptors.

Through a number of different injuries to key players, this team was still able to put together an utterly ridiculous 15-game win streak - the longest in franchise history and Canadian professional sports history!

It marked their first loss since Jan. 13, and also snapped an impressive 10-game road winning streak dating back to Jan. 3.

Even with the loss, the Raptors enter the All-Star break one game better than last season, where they went on to win the NBA Finals.

7. What's next for the Raptors?

The Raptors enter the All-Star break with a 40-15 record, good for second place in the Eastern Conference. They don't return to action until Saturday, Feb. 22 when they host the Phoenix Suns at Scotiabank Arena.

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