Can we Toronto Raptors fans finally say Goodby and Good Riddance to the team’s habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? The Raps headed into the fourth quarter with a lead, frittered it away, then snatched it back and didn’t let go. The Raps have now won 6 of 7, while the New York Knicks are in a funk, this loss being their fourth straight.
The early minutes looked depressingly similar to the atrocious start of the Memphis game, however the pace picked up and the shots started falling for both teams. Carmelo Anthony was hitting from everywhere. The Raptors’ offense was led by Kyle Lowry, who buried four 3-balls without a miss before the Knicks stopped giving him room to breathe. Defensively, Jonas Valanciunas was holding his own against the huge and talented Tyson Chandler. JV blocked two ‘Melo jumpers, though one was judged as goal-tending, and grabbed rebounds in traffic. The score was knotted at 32 after one quarter, an astonishing result considering the poor start.
The second quarter was back and forth, and very taut until the Raps’ offense hit one of those all too familiar air pockets, and could muster only 7 points in the same number of minutes until the buzzer. New York was not able to make a run, and was up a mere (Amir?) 3 at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to Rudy Gay. He had deferred to the hot hands of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, and had only 6 points at halftime, but changed out of his Clark Kent outfit to emerge as Superman, pouring in 17 in the quarter. The home team was ahead by nine entering what has been the Quarter of Doom, and only gave back seven points of the lead. Kyle Lowry hit a tremendous floater over the outstretched arm of Chandler (who already had 5 blocked shots) with 28 seconds left to push the Raps ahead by two, and the Knicks couldn’t tie it up.
Although JV led the game’s rebounders with 10, the Knicks badly outboarded our guys 42-31. Alan Anderson drove into multiple defenders time and again, leading to a 1-for-9 night. Andrea Bargnani recorded his second straight donut; he’s the Invisible Man on offense, receiving almost no passes. Rudy matched New York’s Carmelo Anthony with 32 points, while DeMar chipped in 18.
The Washington Wizards visit the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.
Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.