Jonas Valanciunas returns to Toronto as fan for Game 1 vs. Magic

When you don’t have the best of records in playoff Game 1’s, you try and summon all the good feels.

The Toronto Raptors lost eight straight playoff openers before finally breaking the awful streak last post-season, but still, with a franchise looking to make its first appearance in the NBA Finals, it looks like they’re happy to take all the support they can get, even if it’s from the “enemy.”

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Jonas Valanciunas became a beloved member of the franchise over the course of his six-and-a-half years in Toronto, but was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies along with Delong Wright, C.J. Miles and a second-round pick for Marc Gasol.

With Memphis not making the playoffs, it looks like Valanciunas took to what he became accustomed to these last few years, showing up to Game 1 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

The fans ate up the moment, giving the Lithuanian a standing ovation as soon as he made his way to his courtside seats.

Valanciunas averaged just over 12 points and close to nine rebounds during his time in Toronto but thrived in an expanded role during his short time in Memphis.

Playing almost 28 minutes a game, the 26-year-old averaged 19.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over 19 games with the Grizzlies before missing the final games of the season with an ankle injury.

Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday, March 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday, March 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

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