The Toronto Raptors have been dominant over the past five weeks, and though their franchise-record 15-game winning streak was snapped a few days before the All-Star break, they've still got the momentum going. On Sunday evening, they secured their 17th win in their last 18 outings, and made even more history in the process.
Jumping out to a 34-12 first-quarter lead, the Raptors cruised to a 127-81 victory over the Pacers, which, due to a scheduling quirk, was Toronto's third win over Indiana this month. And yes, seriously, that score is real. The 46-point win was the largest margin of victory for the Raptors in franchise history, surpassing their 44-point win over the Atlanta Hawks back in 2016.
Over the past decade, this was only the 27th time that a team has won by that many points, which is great news for the Raptors, and not so great news for the Pacers. Although if it's any consolation, this is the Pacers' first appearance on that list, and at least they aren't the Suns, Grizzlies or Lakers -- Phoenix, Memphis and L.A. have all lost three games by 46-plus since 2010, tied for the most in the league.
With this win, the Raptors improved their record to 42-15, which not only has them in second place in the Eastern Conference, but is a better record than they had through 57 games last season, when they had Kawhi Leonard and went on to win the NBA championship. Without him, their ceiling in the Eastern Conference would seem to be much lower, but as this hot streak has shown, they're still a dangerous team. They have a legitimate star in Pascal Siakam, and a deep supporting cast around him, which this game illustrated. Siakam led the way with 21 points, but there were six Raptors in double figures, and nine who scored at least seven points.
As for the Pacers, they're trending in the opposite direction. Victor Oladipo didn't play in this game, but since he returned in late January, they're 3-7, and have dropped into sixth place in the East. All of a sudden they're 3.5 games back of fourth-place, and facing an uphill battle to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.