New York came out firing in the 1st Quarter, outscoring Toronto 29-21, with Julius Randle leading the charge (11 points). Toronto shot a poor 34.6% from the floor and 23.1% from three, before heating up in the 2nd Quarter. The Raptors outscored the Knicks 105 to 69 in the final three quarters. Toronto really turned up their defense in the 2nd Quarter to gain momentum, holding the Knicks to just 17 points on 27.3% shooting from the floor, 1-11 from three-point land, and the Raptors posted an incredible team defensive rating of 65.4 in this quarter. The only Knicks that had solid games were Julius Randle (19 points and 8 rebounds) and RJ Barrett (16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals). Barrett did shoot a poor 5-17 (29%) from the floor and 2-8 (25%) from three, contributing to the Knicks poor shooting lines for the game (37.5% from the floor and 29.3% from three) in his homecoming to Canada. The Raptors were ignited by their star player, Pascal Siakam (31 points, 8 rebounds, and a defensive rating of 98.4). Fred VanVleet (15 points) and the Raptors bench (57 points on 51.2% shooting) also played major roles in the Raptors victory.
Why The Knicks Lost
Toronto simply outplayed the Knicks across the board in this game, easily cruising to victory. The Raptors posted better statistics than the Knicks in shooting percentage from the floor and three, rebounds offensively and defensively, assists, turnovers, and points in the paint. New York’s poor defense and ability to generate open shots on offense, cost them any chances they had in winning this game. The one positive for the Knicks in this one, was shooting 20-24 (83.3%) from the foul line, well above their league worst free throw percentage of 68%.
The Knicks have shown stretches in every game, that they can compete with anyone. The difference between New York’s wins and losses have been consistency. Coach Fizdale after the game alluded to their struggles arising from the Knicks players not playing with trust on offense and defense. For example, the help defense and rotations on defense have been late or non-existent, leading to open dunks and threes for opponents. On offense, the Knicks sputter, when they stop moving the ball freely and willingly. Coach Fizdale and these Knicks will look to regroup at home on Saturday night, when they take on the formidable, Philadelphia 76ers.