Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The Toronto Raptors received their NBA championship rings before beating the New Orleans Pelicans in their season opener Tuesday night.
The players received the 1.25 carat diamond rings prior to tipoff of their 130-122 overtime triumph over the Pelicans Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The rings feature the largest single diamond of any professional sports ring, as well as the Toronto skyline, Raptors logo and Scotiabank Arena. Seventy-four diamonds dignify the team's 74 regular-season and playoff victories last season.
"The work that this organization, the players that paved the way, the players that been here before, the players that helped us build this organization and program up, it just meant the world for me to be able to address the crowd and speak for everyone that's put the work in, the time, the blood and the work, the equity into the organization," Raptors star Kyle Lowry told reporters after the game.
The Raptors also unveiled a banner that states, "Toronto Raptors: 2019 World Champions."
"[The emotion] was a lot more than I thought it would be," Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. "I guess I didn't prepare myself very well. Going through the whole playoff thing and the crowd was pretty amped up. It was pretty emotional."
Lowry scored 22 points and had six assists, five rebounds and two steals against the Pelicans. Pascal Siakam had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists for the Raptors. Fred VanVleet matched Siakam's game-high 34 points in the win. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 22 points.
The Raptors' first matchup this season against Leonard and the Clippers is scheduled for Nov. 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.