Well, they weren’t going to win all of them. The Knicks suffered their first loss of the Mike Woodson era, an ugly 96-79 contest to the Raptors at Air Canada Centre. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 30 points, while the Knicks were led by Amar’e Stoudemire’s 17 points. The Knicks missed out on an opportunity to gain a game on either the Celtics and 76ers, as the two teams played each other. Meanwhile, the Bucks handled the Bobcats and are now just a half game behind New York for eight in the Eastern Conference.
What’s to blame for this loss? Trap game? It’s tough to think the team would be taking any opponents lightly, even those as bad as the Raptors, considering their current playoff position. Whatever it was, the team got off to a horrid start. The Raptors scored the game’s first five points and never looked back. The Knicks committed seven turnovers in the first quarter and shot just 37%, as the Raptors finished the quarter up 25-16.
The Raptors would go up by as much as 12 in the first half before the Knicks went on a 15-8 culminated by a Steve Novak three-pointer to beat the buzzer, to finish the first half down just three, 39-36
The Knicks would get to within one in the third quarter before the Raptors went on an 8-0 to push the lead to nine and put the game to bed. The Raptors zone defense ate up the Knicks’ shooters, as J.R. Smith, Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields combined to go 7-for-26 from the floor for 16 points. Even the reliable Tyson Chandler, the NBA leader in field goal percentage, went just 1-for-5, missing on at least three alley-oop opportunities.
The Raptors were up 70-53 at the start of the fourth quarter when the Knicks went on a quick 7-0 run to cut their lead to 10 before they blasted the game open again with a 17-5 run to push their lead to 21 and end all Knick hopes of a comeback.
The Knicks are back at it tomorrow night against the Detroit Pistons at MSG. The Bucks will be in Indiana, so keep an eye on that game.