The Toronto Raptors built on an impressive win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday by blowing out the New York Knicks in the second half of a back-to-back set on Monday night, winning 122-95 and moving to 37-18 on the season. The 122 points scored was a season-high for Toronto, and the Knicks played such an unappealing game that even Kurt Rambis' Twitter hackers would think twice before liking it.
Kyle Lowry earned his eighth career triple-double (sixth as a Raptor), scoring 22 points, grabbing 11 boards, and handing out 11 assists. DeMar DeRozan chipped in 22 points, three rebounds, two assists, and three steals, while Jonas Valanciunas put up 20 points, grabbed six boards, and swatted three shots. Seven Raptors scored in double figures.
The Raptors got out to a slow start in the first quarter, keeping that honoured tradition alive. They missed eight of their first 12 shots, while Jonas Valanciunas allowed Robin Lopez to drop 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting and grab four rebounds (he finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds on the night). The Knicks scored 28 in the quarter, but the Raptors finished the frame out strong to bring it to 28-26 New York after one.
Toronto clamped down on New York in the second quarter, holding the Knicks to 6-for-18 shooting in the frame and outscoring them 31-15, led by James Johnson swarming Carmelo Anthony and holding him to 3-for-7 shooting at the half. The Raps finished the quarter on a 24-6 run, which brought out boos from the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Lowry finished the half with an early bid for his eventual triple-double with 11 points, six boards, and six assists, while DeRozan had 12 points on the board heading into intermission.
The Raptors outscored the Knicks 65-52 in the second half, inciting the MSG crowd to chant "We want Jimmer!" in hopes of seeing Jimmer Fredette -- fresh off signing a 10-day contract with New York -- in a Knicks uniform for the first time. The fans got their wish (kind of), as Fredette got in for the final 1:49 of the game, hit a three, and committed a foul and a turnover. Let's just say that Jimmermania is not at Linsanity levels in New York just yet.
According to the broadcast, DeMar DeRozan became the all-time winningest Raptor in franchise history with 233, moving out of a three-way tie with Vince Carter and Morris Peterson at 232. With the win and a Cavaliers loss to the Pistons, Toronto moved back to within three games of Cleveland for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Next, the Raptors look to avenge a pre-All-Star loss at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Andrew Wiggins and co. come to visit the ACC on Wednesday evening.
What were your takeaways from this game against the Knicks?