1. October 22, 2019, vs. New Orleans Pelicans
It takes something extra special to beat the first game in Raptors history, like, for example, Toronto celebrated Canada’s first NBA championship.
Officially, this was the opening night of the 2019-20 season, but it felt more like the culmination of a party that hadn’t really stopped since Toronto defeated Golden State at Oracle Arena in Game 6 of the NBA Finals four months earlier.
With NBA commissioner Adam Silver overseeing proceedings, the Raptors were presented with their NBA championship rings, which at that time were the largest ever made. Lowry then led the sellout crowd in a countdown, and the championship banner was unveiled.
Everyone probably could have gone home happy before the opening tip. So it was like a cherry on top of the sundae when the game turned into a thriller, and a cherry on top of the cherry when the Raptors rallied to win, 130-122 in OT.
The Toronto Raptors got their rings then worked overtime to get the win.
Toronto trailed New Orleans for most of the fourth quarter, but Lowry hit two late free throws to tie the game. Regulation ended with the teams deadlocked at 117-117, making this the only other Raptors home-opener besides 2008 to need overtime.
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet paced the Raptors with 34 points each, plus the former had a game-high 18 rebounds while the latter led all players with seven assists. The top-scoring Pelican was Brandon Ingram, who had 22 points.
This was also the most recent Raptors’ home-opener that actually took place in Toronto. Last season’s home-opener at Amalie Arena, against these same Pelicans, saw the Raptors lose 113-99 on December 23, 2020.