Raptors, Knicks begin weekend set
Coming off one of their biggest victories of the season, the Toronto Raptors look to win six straight for the first time in over two years when they face the New York Knicks on Saturday afternoon (CBC, 1 p.m. ET).
Toronto (29-45) is just about out of playoff contention in the NBA Eastern Conference, trailing eighth-place Chicago by six games with eight to play. New York (29-46) and Washington (18-59) are the only teams that have a worse record than the Raptors in the conference.
Toronto hasn't won six in a row since Feb. 4-15, 2007. Though the Raptors appear to be out of the playoff picture, they're still playing as though they have a chance.
"It's not bittersweet. It's not over," said Chris Bosh. "It's not over yet. We're going to keep playing, see what happens. We still have a chance."
Bosh had 24 points to lead the Raptors to a 99-95 win over East powerhouse Orlando on Wednesday night, making a 22-footer with 29 seconds left that put the game out of reach.
Toronto is playing loose and intends to finish the season strong.
"We're in a great situation," point guard Jose Calderon said. "We're just playing. We've got five in a row now and we've got to keep working until the last day."
Calderon had 21 points versus the Magic following a 22-point effort in a 134-129 overtime win over the Bulls on Sunday night. He's averaging 10.5 assists in two games against the Knicks this season, with each team winning once at home.
New York returns to Madison Square Garden following a winless three-game trip, which concluded with a 111-104 loss to Denver on Tuesday night. It was the ninth defeat in 10 games for the team.
New York faced the Nuggets without swingman Larry Hughes, who sprained his right ankle in a 112-104 loss at Utah on Monday night. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni believes Hughes could return Saturday.
Hughes is averaging 12.5 points in 19 games since being acquired in a trade with Chicago on Feb. 19. He had been filling in for Quentin Richardson, who has missed three straight games with a sprained left ankle and is listed as questionable.
Knicks centre Eddy Curry, attempting to play down the stretch after missing most of the season with a knee injury, may miss his second straight game. He played two minutes at Charlotte last Saturday night and seven against the Jazz before sitting out Tuesday.
Bargnani, the top pick in the 2006 draft, is averaging career highs of 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He has posted 23 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games against New York this season.
The Raptors and Knicks will meet again Sunday night in Toronto.