An unassuming regular season NBA game turned into a real-life Canadian heritage moment on Sunday afternoon when the Toronto Raptors staged their biggest comeback in franchise history, beating the Dallas Mavericks 110-107 with a whopping 47 fourth quarter points.
Fans of the reigning NBA Champs had all but given up on a win heading into the final quarter of the game as the Raptors trailed by 23 points.
That deficit had grown to 30 points when, with roughly 14 minutes left to go, star guard Kyle Lowry exploded into action.
The 33-year-old Raptors star and 5-time NBA All Star went "absolutely crazy," as sportscasters put it, scoring 20 of his total 32 points in the final quarter of the game.
Solid contributions from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller and Terence Davis saw the Raptors stomp the Mavericks 47-21 in the final quarter to ultimately win the entire game by a narrow three points.
I’ve got to admit that I *almost* turned off the TV in the 3rd quarter when Dallas was up by 30 and in full control. Looked to be a blowout. I’m so glad I kept watching and hoping. That was a once-in-a-lifetime game to watch. Wow.— Julian Quinton (@CoachQuinton) December 23, 2019
"He was unbelievable, right?" said Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse in a post-game interview of Lowry's fourth quarter heroics.
"And he really didn't have that good a game going until that point, too. Then he started firing and making and driving and and-one-ing — he was doing it all. I'm not sure I've seen anything like it."
Spectators at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena certainly felt the energy during the game's final minutes when they burst into chants of Lowry's name — and those watching from home were every bit as excited.
"I just got goosebumps from a regular season game... this team!!!" tweeted one fan. "And let's just put [Lowery] into the rafters now! #WeTheNorth."
"NO PASCAL. NO NORM. NO MARC," wrote another, referencing the fact that three of the team's leading scorers were out with injuries. "DOWN 30. BIGGEST COMEBACK IN FRANCHISE HISTORY. STOP DISRESPECTING THE RAPTORS FAM."
Wowww!!!!! Really... wow!!!!— T O R O N T O 🍁 (@Toronto) December 22, 2019
Raptors were down by 30 points in the 3rd Quarter, and mounted the biggest comeback in franchise history; the largest NBA comeback in the last decade. Raptors outscore Dallas 47-21 in the 4th Q for an unbelievable 110-107 win. 🏀#WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/HNDQqqE2W4
Lowry himself credited his teammates for their record-breaking comeback — particularly Boucher, who finished with a career-high 21 points, and Hollis-Jefferson, who scored 18 points with nine rebounds, two assists and one steal.
"We had a great team effort," said Lowry following Toronto's miraculous win. "Malcolm (Miller), Terence Davis, Rondae and Chris Boucher. I give them all the credit today.
"They won that game for us. Malcolm got a few steals, T.D. hit a couple of big threes," continued Lowry. "Chris with his defections and blocked shots. Rondae with his putbacks and hustle effort. Give those guys the credit man, seriously."
The fact that the Raptors managed to surmount a 30 point deficit to come back and win against the Mavs in less than 15 minutes is nearly unprecedented.
As The Star points out, Dallas had a 99.7 per cent win probability during the game's third quarter.
"The last time an NBA team overcame a deficit that big was way back on Dec. 31, 2009 when Sacramento beat Chicago," noted sports columnist Gregor Chisholm. "If you switched channels or turned off the television, don't worry, you weren’t the only one."
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO