The Toronto Raptors improved to 37-18 on the season with a 122-95 victory over the New York Knicks who fall to 24-34 on the season.
Great Team Play From Raptors
It seemed like the Raptors could no wrong as almost every player who stepped on the floor for Toronto had a solid outing. Toronto moved the ball exceptionally well as the Raptors recorded 26 team assists while turning the ball over a total of just six times in the game. They also hit on 52.9 percent of their shots, making for one of their most efficient offensive games of the season.
Lowry Notches Eighth-Career Triple-Double
Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry did a little bit of everything in this game, recording his first triple-double of the season and sixth as a Raptor. Lowry finished with 22 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds on 7-13 shooting in the game.
DeMar DeRozan also poured in 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting as the Toronto backcourt had yet another strong game.
The Raptors guards did a fantastic job of involving big man Jonas Valanciunas who had himself a great night, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds on nine-for-14 shooting. The fourth-year man struggled a bit on the defensive end but is beginning to shape up into a very nice offensive weapon for Toronto.
Knicks Forwards Score at High Rate
New York small forward Carmelo Anthony led all scorers in the game with 23 points. Anthony also grabbed 11 rebounds and recorded 5 assists in 37 minutes of action for the Knicks.
Centre Robin Lopez had himself a very nice game for New York as the big man added 21 points. Lopez was dominant on the inside early, causing trouble for the Raptors frontcourt. Lopez finished with 13 rebounds (seven offensive) and shot 10-for-14 from the field.
Rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis added 17 of his own in 33 minutes. The three starting forwards combined for 61 of the team's 95 points.
Toronto Bench Solid
As well as the starters played for Toronto, the bench was just as good. The Raptors bench outscored the Knicks bench 42-27 behind strong games from Cory Joseph, Bismack Biyombo, and Terrence Ross.
Joseph scored 13 points including two three-pointers and also dished out six assists.
Biyombo added 10 off the bench as he didn't miss a shot. The backup center got after it on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
Ross added 12 of his own, going four-for-eight from deep to go with a couple of rebounds.
Raptors Dominate Final Three Quarters To Seal Victory
The first quarter of this game consisted of both teams getting what they wanted offensively. The Knicks were able to feed the ball inside to Lopez who scored 12 of his 21 in the quarter. For Toronto, it was DeRozan who did the bulk of the scoring early as the two-time All-Star attacked the paint, scoring 10 in the quarter.
The Raptors would pick it up on the defensive end in the second giving up just 15 points while scoring 31 of their own. The Knicks really struggled with their shooting which included free throws as the team hit a stretch where they missed six consecutive foul shots. The Raptors ball movement was outstanding in the second as the Raptors would close the half on a 24-6 run. Toronto led 57-43 at the break.
Early in the second half it looked as if the Knicks were going to get back into the game as they came out firing, hitting four-straight shots as part of a 9-2 start. Toronto would call a quick timeout and responded with a 19-4 run of their own which increased the lead to beyond 20 points. New York would never get close again.
The fourth quarter was much of the same as Toronto continued to score the ball at a high-rate, denying any chance for the Knicks to get back into the game. Porzingis got hot early, but the Raptors seemed to have an answer for everything New York was doing.
Both teams will be back in action Wednesday as the Raptors will head back home for a meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves while the Knicks will visit the Indiana Pacers.