The New York Knicks started hot but cooled off considerably in the end in their loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors played a Sunday matinee at Madison Square Garden on Kid’s Day. The Knicks gave their fans a strong showing in the start, but eventually ran out of steam as the superiorly talented Raptors eventually came away with the win.
The Knicks actually led for a majority of this game. They were ahead by as many as 11 points in the first half as they battled despite being shorthanded. The Knicks were once again without many key players, including Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Lance Thomas.
Toronto really ramped up their defense in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. Combined with the Knicks defense falling apart, and the Raptors pulled away as the second half wore on.
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With the loss, the Knicks are almost locked into the sixth spot heading into the NBA Draft Lottery. The Knicks are currently two games ahead of the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves and 1.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the fifth worst record.
For the Raptors, this was a very important game. They have locked down the third spot in the Eastern Conference. They also kept their Atlantic Division hopes alive. The end result of the game won’t surprise many people, as the Knicks were using a lot of backups. But, they battled through three quarters before the talent difference took over and was too much to overcome.
C Willy Hernangomez, Knicks — Hernangomez had it going today. He led the way for the Knicks, recording his 11th double-double of the season. He scored 24 points, including a three-pointer and 5-of-6 from the foul line, with 11 rebounds. He also stuffed the stat sheet. He also added five assists and three steals for an excellent all-around game.
SG DeMar DeRozan, Raptors — The Knicks have no answer for DeRozan this afternoon. He was able to get his shot going and carried the Raptors in the first half. DeRozan scored 26 of his 35 in the first half, as the rest of the team combined for only 26 points. Without any rim protection, DeRozan and the Raptors were able to walk to the rim without any challenges. All that damage by DeRozan was done in the first three-quarters as he didn’t play in the fourth.
PG Ron Baker, Knicks — Jeff Hornacek has talked up Baker all season as he sees a little bit of himself in Baker. Baker had a great game against the Raptors as he did a little bit of everything. With Derrick Rose out for the season, he has become the starting point guard and handed out eight assists today. He also scored 11 points, adding eight rebounds and one steal for a solid all-around game.
The Knicks wrap up their regular season Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors finish their regular season on Wednesday on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.