In front of 20,738 spectators at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC, the Toronto Raptors finished with a franchise record 7-1 in the preseason (key word: preseason, not franchise record) by beating the New York Knicks 83-80.
Kyle Lowry flirted with a triple-double in the win, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, while DeMar DeRozan led all Raptors with 15 points.
Lou Williams contributed 12 points off the bench, including four points in the final two minutes, once again showing off his formidable clutch abilities.
As for the Knicks, former Raptors Jose Calderon (right calf) and Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) both sat out against their former team with minor injuries. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 24 points, while Montreal-native Samuel Dalembert and Quincy Acy (another former Raptor) added 10 rebounds apiece in the loss. The Knicks fell to 3-4 in the preseason.
The rowdy Montreal crowd was treated to a very close game, with 17 lead changes and 12 instances when the game was tied. Things were close in the first quarter and both teams enjoyed different periods of dominance before the Raptors finally pulled away for good with four straight makes from the line by Toronto's Greivis Vasquez in the game's final seconds.
A moment of silence was observed before the game to honour the fallen Canadian Armed Forces members, Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo and former Raptor Muggsy Bogues were both in attendance at the game and were highlighted during game breaks. Raptors GM Masai Ujirii also made an appearance, coming to center court during the game's third quarter to present a donation to Basketball Québec. The Raptors' Patrick Patterson and the Knicks Samuel Dalembert welcomed fans to the final instalment of this year's NBA Canada Series before tip-off.
Were you at the game? How do you feel about the Raptors going 7-1 in the preseason? Have any thoughts about NBA basketball being played in Montreal? Hit us up in the comments for any and all reactions to the game.
Le Nord, c'est nous.