ATLANTA—Vince Carter grabbed his career milestone with a last-second dunk—long after his first NBA team had the victory secured.
Kyle Lowry scored 21 points during his first triple-double of the season and the Toronto Raptors never trailed while beating the reeling Atlanta Hawks 124-108 last night.
The night's final bow belonged to Carter, whose jam with less than a second remaining pushed him past 25,000 career points.
He became just the 22nd NBA player to reach the milestone and then tossed some love toward the Raptors.
“I'm very thankful for every team that I've played for," Carter said. "But there's nothing like your first.”
Carter, who played his first seven seasons with Toronto, began the night 13 points shy of the mark.
The Hawks were pulling for Carter, in his 21st season, to reach the milestone against his former team.
After the game, Carter's teammates were like fans looking for souvenirs.
“All the guys tried to take everything I own," Carter said. "All my back-up shoes are gone now.”
Carter, 41, didn't seem to mind.
“I still love it," he said. "I still love playing. And I'm willing to do whatever it takes to do it.”
Carter sank a three-pointer with less than two minutes to go and, clearly aiming for the milestone, missed two more “threes” before being fouled with 33.9 seconds left.
Carter pulled with one point of 25,000 when he sank two free throws after a video review overruled the original call he was fouled on a three-pointer.
On Atlanta's final possession, he missed a jumper before rookie Kevin Huerter grabbed the rebound and passed back to Carter, setting up the buzzer-beating jam.
Carter's 14 points gave him 25,001 for his career.
Players from both teams hugged Carter at mid-court.
“He earned it," Lowry said. "It's awesome to do it against the team he started with.”
“Vince has changed the game for every kid growing up,” added Toronto's Fred VanVleet.
Lowry added 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 13th career triple-double.
Jonas Valanciunas had season-high totals of 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors (15-4).
“That was kind of fun,” Valanciunas said before giving credit to Lowry.
“It's easy to play with this kind of point guard,” he noted.
Pascal Siakam had 22 points.
Jeremy Lin scored 26 points off the bench for the Hawks (3-15), who have lost nine-straight since their last win against Miami on Nov. 3.
Atlanta's only starter to score in double figures was Taurean Prince with 12 points.