Raptors prove unicorns don't exist, beat up on Porzingis' Knicks
Toronto holds New York phenom to just 13 points
Kyle Lowry might have matched his season-high of 22 points Friday night, but it was one of his assists that will go down as arguably the play of the night.
Late in the first half, Lowry walked the ball up to just past halfcourt, nonchalantly pointed skyward before launching an alley-oop that DeMar DeRozan finished in spectacular fashion.
The Raptors' backcourt mates had their way with New York in a 107-84 victory, DeRozan scoring 22 points and Lowry adding 10 assists in Toronto's third consecutive win.
"That's huge," coach Dwane Casey said on the play of his two all-stars. "I think Kyle's getting it back, you see the bounce in his step, the rhythm of his shot is coming back. DeMar is doing a good job of quarterbacking. . . he had seven assists, that's huge, so 17 assists plus their points out of that group is huge."
C.J. Miles finished with 14 points, while Pascal Siakam added 13, and rookie OG Anunoby, in his third career start, chipped in with 11 for the short-handed Raptors (10-5).
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis, nicknamed 'The Unicorn,' topped the Knicks (8-7) with 13 points each.
Never in doubt
In their first game back at the Air Canada Centre after three strong performances on the road, the Raptors controlled the game virtually from the opening tipoff, led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter, and took a 78-64 advantage into the fourth.
The Knicks pulled to within 10 points in the fourth, but Miles drilled a three-pointer to follow up a three-point play by Lowry, and the Raptors were up 97-78 with 5:22 to play. Back-to-back baskets by Siakam gave Toronto a 23-point cushion with 3:19 to play, and Casey subbed out his starters soon after.
"Those guys are great players," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said of Lowry and DeRozan. "When they're rolling and they're going, all of a sudden the other guys get open looks."
The Raptors shot a decent 56 per cent on the night, while holding the Knicks to 33 per cent.
Porzingis shot just 3-for-13, and DeRozan praised the Raptors' young forwards — Siakam and Poeltl — for keeping the big Latvian in check.
"They did a great job, man," DeRozan said. "There's so much you could say about them, but they always step up to the challenge, no matter who it's against. Last game it was [New Orleans'] DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, now it's Porzingis. Those guys always step up to the plate."
Kyle Lowry finds DeRozan for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Raptors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Raptors</a> alley-oop! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeTheNorth</a> <a href="https://t.co/6T9JnUG07Q">pic.twitter.com/6T9JnUG07Q</a>—@NBA
The Raptors were missing Serge Ibaka (swollen knee), Norman Powell (hip pointer), and Delon Wright, who will travel to New York with the team next week for further tests.
The victory continued a strong stretch for the Raptors, who lost by just a point to league-leading Boston to open their recent road trip, but rebounded with back-to-back wins over Houston and New Orleans.
The Raptors, who started Anunoby and Siakam in place of Powell and Ibaka, held the Knicks to a woeful six baskets in the first quarter. Miles was fouled on back-to-back three-point attempts, and his six free throws sent the Raptors into the second quarter up 30-18.
Toronto kept the pressure on in the second, and a Lowry three a minute-and-a-half before the break gave the Raptors a 20-point lead. They were up 54-36 at halftime.
The Raptors would go up by 22 points twice in the third, but the Knicks hit five threes in the quarter to chip away at Toronto's lead.
The Raptors host the Washington Wizards on Sunday.