KNICKS 96 Raptors 79 | AIR CANADA CENTRE
How it happened:
In a game where both teams struggled to find offensive rhythm and consistency, Toronto needed just one quarter to gain significant separation. The third period was costly as the Raptors outscored the Knicks 31-17 while DeMar DeRozan poured in 14 of his game-high 30 points. Heading into that crucial quarter, Toronto was shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor but the home team drilled 10-of-18 shots and gained control of the contest.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Knicks mounted a mini comeback after Baron Davis and Amar’e Stoudemire started finding success with the pick-and-roll game. Steve Novak also seemed to shift the momentum, drilling a wide open 3-pointer to knock the Raptors lead down to 10 points with 9:45 on the game clock.
DeRozan continued his stellar play over the next three minutes of the final stanza in the midst of a 12-5 Toronto run and 96-79 victory to snap the Knicks five-game winning streak.
Novak chipped in 15 points off the bench and Carmelo Anthony scored 12 and grabbed nine boards, and J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert combined for 14 points as New York fell to 23-25 on the season.
Despite the loss, Stoudemire was effective once again by posting a team-high 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting in 33 minutes of action. New York’s power forward snatched six boards, recorded two blocks, and a steal in the defeat.
News and Notes:
Jared Jeffries missed the game in Toronto and is expected to have his sore knee examined when the team returns to New York.
Toronto reached the charity stripe 26 times and hit 19 of those attempts as opposed to the Knicks 10-for-18 performance on Friday night.
The Knicks will look for some home cooking as they boarded a plane back to the states on Friday night. New York will play its next four of five games at Madison Square Garden.