Raptors hold out to beat Knicks 90-87 | The Canadian News

TORONTO – On a night that wasn’t particularly pretty for the Toronto Raptors, the hectic final minute was pure defensive will.

And that made Fred VanVleet smile.

Gary Trent Jr. added 24 points, including a key triple with just over a minute to play, and the Raptors posted a 90-87 win over New York on Friday, their 12th straight win against the Knicks in Toronto. .

“I’ll take it,” laughed VanVleet, who had been angered by his team’s effort in a one-point loss to Oklahoma City two nights earlier.

“It wasn’t a perfect game by any means, but I think some of us understand offense is going to be an ‘adventure,’ that’s what Nick (Raptors coach Nurse) and I call it,” he added. “But defensively man, we really fought and fell apart and I thought we deserved to win tonight.”

The story continues below the ad.

VanVleet had 17 points and 11 assists, while rookie Scottie Barnes had a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 12 points for the Raptors (12-14) who beat the Knicks for the 12th time in a row in Toronto. Pascal Siakam scored 13 points on a tough 3-of-18 shooting night, but had 12 rebounds, while Chris Boucher added 14 points.

Canadian RJ Barrett, who according to broadcasters had 1,000 passes for family and friends to the game, and Obi Toppin led the Knicks (12-14) with 19 points each.

In the last few Knicks possessions, the Raptors made “double and triple the number of saves we needed, we couldn’t get the ball,” VanVleet said; on one play, the ball bounced off his foot and went out of bounds.

Related Videos

“All kinds of things happening, but we keep making play after play.”

The story continues below the ad.

The Raptors built up a 20-point lead in the first quarter on Friday and looked headed for an easy win.

But the Knicks, who started the day 11th in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of Toronto, had other plans. The Raptors led 69-65 to start the fourth quarter, but Toppin’s 3-pointer tied him four minutes in frame to moans from the Scotiabank Arena crowd.

VanVleet got them on their feet with a triple for a five-point lead with 4:29 to play, then Siakam fueled Barnes for a dunk to make six points with about three minutes to go.

Barrett had five points from a 7-0 Knicks run that put the visitors up by one point, but Trent connected from long range for an 89-87 lead with 1:11 to play.

Siakam missed a jump shot, Julius Randle missed on his three-point attempt, and then down by three with 0.2 left, Barrett threw a three-point attempt off the rim.

“The coach has insisted on defense,” Trent said. “We have been working on it, we have been getting it. Every day when we walk in, we are putting the pieces together, solving it slowly but surely. “

Nurse had been equally angry after Wednesday’s loss, but was pleased with his team’s hustle and bustle on Friday.

The story continues below the ad.

“Just fumbles and offensive rebounds and those things are a good sign,” he said. “We really needed to play with that kind of (energy). Well, we have to do it, we have to win the 50/50 balls and we have to climb on the glass to get some extra possessions, and I thought we’d been doing it all night hanging out with loose balls, a lot of detours, it seemed like. We made a lot of passes, I made a lot of passes that missed the target due to our high hands and things like that. “

The Raptors were rebounded 55-48, but forced the Knicks to lose 15 losses.

The Raptors got off to a good start, hitting five-three points in the first quarter, including one from Trent, which gave them a 20-point lead. Toronto led 34-14 to start second.

The Knicks bench scored 20 points in the second to fuel a 29-9 streak in New York, and when Immanuel Quickley hit a triple to tie the game, the players on the Knicks bench rose to their feet in celebration. The Raptors closed the fourth with an 11-3 run interrupted by a Siakam dunk with half a second left, and Toronto entered the break with a 50-42 lead.

Barrett scored nine points in the third quarter, including five in a row that put the Knicks up by one point.

The 21-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario is on the mend after missing a couple of games earlier this month due to a non-COVID illness that Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said affected the No. 3 in 2019. drought. Barrett missed a game and had to drop another after just eight minutes.

The story continues below the ad.

The Raptors continue to fight injuries. OG Anunoby missed his 11th game with a hip injury, while Khem Birch sat for the seventh game in a row with knee swelling, and Precious Achiuwa was also sidelined (shoulder tendonitis).

The Raptors also had a COVID-19 scare. The team canceled practice Thursday out of “plenty of caution” after the team’s president and vice president, Masai Ujiri, tested positive for COVID-19. Ujiri, who is fully vaccinated, including a booster shot, said it was later learned that there was positive tests at his African Giants event on Sunday.

“Superfan” Nav Bhatia missed his first game at home to the Raptors, ending a 26-year streak. Bhatia attended Ujiri’s African Giants event, so he is isolated according to a Toronto Public Health order.

The Raptors were hit hard by the pandemic last March while playing in Tampa, Florida. Losing numerous key players, they fell in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs.

The Raptors host the Sacramento Kings on Monday in their final game of a seven-game home season.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 20, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


Leave a Comment