KNICKS 110 RAPTORS 84 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
After two losses to the Raptors earlier this season, the Knicks exacted revenge on the north of the border squad with back-to-back convincing victories.
The latest win on Saturday night featured another dominating performance from Carmelo Anthony as he scored a game-high 28 points at the Garden to lead New York to a 110-84 win. Anthony was a nightmare matchup for Toronto with a combined 65 points in consecutive games.
Anthony scored 11 of his 28 in the first quarter to provide a 21-17 advantage to the home team. Between the second and third periods, New York outscored the Raptors 61-50 while the lead expanded to 18 prior to the fourth quarter.
The road to the win was essentially the same except the Knicks clamped down on the defensive side of the floor, especially on Alan Anderson. Toronto’s sixth man was extremely effective in the Friday tilt with 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter. On Saturday night, New York limited him to just five third period points and a total of 14 in the final meeting between the two teams.
The Raptors were forced to play without their star forward Rudy Gay. He was unable to make the trek to New York after suffering from back spasms on Friday night and an early departure from the contest.
Once again, Kenyon Martin patrolled the paint in the starting lineup for the Knicks. With Tyson Chandler sidelined, Martin generated a significant amount of energy in the building and helped New York establish the momentum heading into the half. Martin posted 18 points, seven boards, and two blocked shots.
J.R. Smith finished off the Raptors with 14 of his 25 points in the final stanza. Chris Copeland added 12 points and five rebounds.
The Knicks improved to 42-26 on the season, two games ahead of their division foe, the Brooklyn Nets. New York also trails Indiana by just a half game for the second overall spot in the latest Eastern Conference standings.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony has returned to form after the knee draining took place last week. The All-Star received some much needed rest and only played 30 minutes tonight in the win. He connected on 9-of-19 shots from the floor, hit all 10 of his free throw attempts, and ripped down 10 boards.
The Knicks recorded 14 steals, only committed 11 turnovers, and forced 18 miscues from the opposition tonight.
The Knicks will enjoy a day off on Sunday before a practice session on Monday afternoon and a trip to Boston. New York squares off against the Celtics on Tuesday night at 7 PM on TNT.