Chris Bosh must be thinking, "I came back for this?"
The Raptors all-star forward returned from a five-game absence due to a knee injury only to see his hapless team get torched 127-97 by the New York Knicks on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The lopsided score hardly did justice to the whipping. New York — one of the NBA's highest-scoring and fastest-paced teams in its first season under run 'n' gun coach Mike D'Antoni — raced out to a 9-0 lead after the tipoff and never looked back, opening up a comfortable 75-50 advantage by halftime.
It got as bad as 98-60 when Al Harrington drained a three-pointer with four and a half minutes left in the third quarter, and the score at the end of three periods — 101-75 — resembled a final.
Bosh managed just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting in his first action since spraining his right knee on Feb. 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"You've got to keep playing, keep chipping away, whether it's two points or 20 points," Bosh said. "We showed no confidence, no pride tonight on the court."
Joey Graham led the Raptors with 19 points off the bench, and Andrea Bargnani had 18. Shawn Marion added 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds in his second game with the Raptors after arriving via a trade with Miami last week.
Centre Patrick O'Bryant, acquired from Boston just ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, didn't attempt a shot in his Raptors debut but did collect a block, a rebound and an assist.
Wilson Chandler poured in a career-high 32 points for the Knicks, who had four players score at least 20 points. Slam dunk champion Nate Robinson had 26 off the bench, falling just short of his fourth consecutive 30-point game. David Lee had 24 to go with 15 rebounds, and Harrington added 20 points.
"We had four or five guys just on fire," D'Antoni said. "It does make it tough for the other team."
Toronto (21-36) has lost two straight and eight of 10, and sits 14th in the 15-team Eastern Conference.
New York (23-31) won for the second straight time following a six-game losing streak, and is still harbouring playoff aspirations. The Knicks entered Friday's action three games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final post-season spot in the East.
The Raptors won't have to wait long for a shot at revenge: they host the Knicks on Sunday afternoon (CBC, 12 p.m. ET).
Toronto has won its last eight home games against New York, but the Knicks could have reinforcements on the way: newcomers Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox, acquired at the trade deadline, might make their debuts for the team.