The Raptors played the Spurs in an emotional Thursday night game in San Antonio, a game that saw Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green return to the building in which they both played for the better part of ten years.
Not only were Leonard and Green reunited with their former fans, teammates, and coaches, but the Spurs' DeMar DeRozan was reunited with his former teammates and coaches as well.
Finally, the Toronto-famous duo/bromance, Yak and Skills was reunited in the game, with fans even getting to see Pascal Siakam get a big block on his old buddy Jakob Poeltl.
These are my takeaways from that game:
1. The Spurs Organization was Classy; The Fans were Not
After a messy departure sparked by Kawhi's demand of a trade from San Antonio, pretty much everyone expected his return to the city to be met with displeasure. As expected, the AT&T Centre rung with boos at Kawhi's introduction and every time he touched the ball.
What was not expected was the class shown by the Spurs organization, who opted to, instead of be petty and ignore him, give Kawhi a joint tribute video with Danny Green looking back on their time with the organization.
It's important to remember that Raptors fans have no right to be angry with Spurs fans for their booing of Kawhi. When Vince came back to the city for the first time after leaving, he was met with boos just as bad, if not worse than what Kawhi experienced last night.
2. The Spurs Could Not Miss from Deep
Whether it was Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes, or Derrick White, it didn't matter. Those three guys were automatic from behind the arc, scoring a combined 52 points, with Mills contributing his 12 in just 15 minutes.
The Raptors' team defence was not rock-solid all night long, but it wasn't awful, and at times they had hands in the faces of shooters. It didn't matter. Forbes and White in particular were making heavily contested shots at a consistent rate last night.
The three-point shooting was a big part of the W for the Spurs last night in what was a blowout from start to finish.
3. DeMar's Trip-Dub was Poetic Justice
DeMar DeRozan recording his first career triple-double (21 points, 11 assists, 14 boards) against the team who drafted him and subsequently traded him must have been a great feeling for him. Heck, it was a great feeling for a good deal of Raptors fans, all of whom still have love for DeMar.
The mixed emotions that fans felt prior to the game were shared throughout the country; they wanted the Raptors to win, but they always want to see DeMar do well.
So, when the game was all said and done with, most Raptors fans walked away feeling... weird. It's never fun to see your favourite team lose, but seeing one of your favourite players play well is always nice.
The Raptors play the Spurs again in Toronto on February 22, a game that will see the Raptors, hopefully at full health, try to even out the season series with a win of their own.