• The Toronto Raptors return to Amalie Arena in Tampa to host the New York Knicks on New Year’s Eve.
Thursday’s game marks the 96th meeting between the Raptors and Knicks, but the regular-season game somewhere other than their home markets. Toronto and New York have met in three other cities during the preseason – Ottawa (1996), Hartford (1997) and Montreal (2012 & 2014).
• Toronto is 3-3 (.500) all-time when playing on New Year’s Eve. Thursday will mark the second time in franchise history the Raptors are playing on New Year’s Eve in consecutive seasons. The Raptors defeated
Cleveland at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 31 last year. Toronto has also played on New Year’s Eve in 2013, 2014, 2008, 2007 and 1997.
• Toronto has won eight consecutive games (Jan. 24, 2020 – Feb. 8, 2018) and 16 of the last 17 meetings against New York going back to Jan. 2016. The Raptors only loss to the Knicks the past four seasons came Nov. 22, 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
• Toronto has started a season 0-3 for the second time in franchise history and the first since the 2005-06 campaign. Following an opening night loss Dec. 23 vs. New Orleans, the Raptors held a record below .500 for the first time at any point in a season since Jan. 7, 2014. The last time Toronto was three games below .500 was Dec. 27, 2013 following a 95-83 win at New York. Kyle Lowry is the only remaining player on the team from when Toronto was last below .500.
• Kyle Lowry is the longest serving players on the Raptors roster (nine seasons) and the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (1,396), assists (3,968) and steals (832). He is currently 193 points away from joining DeMar DeRozan (13,296) and Chris Bosh (10,275) as the only players in franchise history to reach 10,000 points. He also needs 32 assists to reach 4,000. According to the Elias Sports Bureau only three active players have recorded 10,000 points and 4,000 assists with their current team – James Harden (Houston), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland).
• Fred VanVleet has made at least one 3-pointer in 35 consecutive games (Dec. 20, 2019 – Dec. 29, 2020). His streak ranks second in franchise history, trailing only C.J. Miles, who made at least one 3-pointer in 38 consecutive games (Dec. 10, 2017 – Mar. 15, 2018).
• Chris Boucher scored a career-best 22 points and recorded seven blocks Dec. 26 at San Antonio. He joined Jermaine O’Neal as the only players in franchise history to record at least 20 points and seven blocks in the same game. O’Neal had 22 points and nine blocks Feb. 4, 2009 against the Los Angeles
Lakers. Anthony Davis was the only player last season to record at least 20 points and seven blocks – accomplished Feb. 21 vs. Memphis and Jan. 5 vs. Detroit. Boucher along with New York’s R.J. Barrett represent 17 Canadians in the NBA – the most represented country outside of the United States.