4. VanVleet keeps the streak alive against Brooklyn
The Raptors’ 15 game winning streak from Jan. 15 to Feb. 10 warmed the cold hearts of Toronto through the early winter months, but it could have very easily been capped at 13, if not for a heroic performance from VanVleet. Ever since welcoming his son into the world during the Eastern Conference Finals last season, VanVleet has been on a tear.
VanVleet has carried that momentum into this season, becoming Nick Nurse’s go-to guy off of the bench. Riding high into a home matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, and with Lowry needing an off day, new responsibility fell on VanVleet to keep the streak alive.
Unfortunately, a fellow NBA player with a capital “V” in the middle of his name had his sights on ending the Raptors’ streak right then and there. Despite a 37 point effort from Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert, VanVleet’s 29 points, team-high six assists and four threes were enough to see the Raptors squeak out a 119-118 win.
With 10 points in the fourth quarter, VanVleet did what Lowry has been doing for so long; picking up his teammates when it matters the most.
Those same Nets would end the streak just four days later in Brooklyn, but thanks to Fred VanVleet, the Raptors’ magical run carried on for a little longer.