The Knicks returned to the Garden for some much-needed home cooking with multiple great performances as they snapped their two-game losing streak.

The New York Knicks (13-9) defeated the Toronto Raptors (9-14) by a final score of 136-130 behind some electrifying play from Julius Randle and some clear next-man-up mentality shining through for players like Jericho Sims, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Quentin Grimes.

The Knicks entered the home-floor contest short-handed, missing Mitchell Robinson for the first of many games after it was announced on Monday that he would be missing at least 8-10 weeks due to ankle surgery, as well as missing the bench general in Immanuel Quickley who was ruled out of the game due to knee inflammation.

The first opened with some tough-to-watch defense in the paint from the Knicks as they were still gelling with a new starting center in Sims. A quick timeout from head coach Tom Thibodeau halted play as New York looked a step slow on the defensive end to open things against Toronto. Jalen Brunson looked to be on fire from beyond the arc to start, but the Knicks just could not get a stop. Eventually, the Raptors started missing their shots while the Knicks were maintaining their efficient scoring. Randle also began to heat up, lifting the load along with Brunson to help offset the fast break scoring from Toronto that was testing the Knicks’ transition defense. The pace was sweltering as the Raptors continued to take advantage of New York’s poor defense, and it was all tied up through the first frame.

The second began with some more three-pointers going down for the Knicks, with Deuce McBride getting in on the action in the absence of Quickley. Quentin Grimes also continued to look good off the bench for New York, moving confidently off the ball to open up the offense and knocking his open shots down. But, New York’s defense continued to frustrate, as they were unable to open up any big leads in the first half of the period. Rebounding, which looked to be a concern for the Knicks with the loss of Robinson to the rotation, wasn’t suffering too much thanks to the play of Isaiah Hartenstein and Josh Hart. But, the Raptors were looking to drive on the Knicks more without a solid rim protector like Robinson on the floor. After a lot of back and forth between the two teams, the Knicks were up six headed into the second half thanks to their stellar three-point shooting (9-16 from deep) and preventing Toronto from getting too comfortable on the glass.

The third period opened with some heavy doses of Randle who continued to see food against the Raptors’ interior defense. But, on cue, the Knicks were just not doing anything to impose their will on Toronto as they kept successfully driving to the rim with little resistance. The Raptors led quickly into the quarter because of that poor effort. New York was stuck with trading buckets with Toronto well into the third, especially with Jakob Poetl on the floor mucking up the Knicks’ attempts at grabbing any offensive boards. One advantage New York had all night, though, was their three-point shooting. They continued to rattle them in, while Randle continued to scorch OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and others in the midrange. A technical foul assessed to Randle after he took Scottie Barnes to school got him and the Knicks faithful fired up, and despite another wishy-washy defensive performance, New York clung to a one-point lead heading into the final quarter of regulation at the Garden.

The Knicks could leave with a much-needed win at home if they managed to get some stops while continuing to feed each other. The Raptors weren’t going away, but bench players like Hart and Hartenstein were helping on both ends of the court for the Knicks to get them second-chance scoring opportunities as well as distributing the ball. Thanks to some much-improved second-half three-point shooting, Toronto was beginning to take advantage of New York’s late closeouts around the perimeter. With about five minutes to go, the Knicks were hanging on to a six-point lead. With some amazing shooting off excellent ball movement, New York got that lead up to 10 with just over two minutes left. They never relented that lead, and the Knicks won their second straight matchup against the Raptors and broke a two-game losing streak.

Randle finished up with 34 points on 14-21 shooting. He also contributed eight rebounds and five assists. Barrett had 27 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block. Brunson ended up with 21 points, nine assists, two rebounds, and an assist while Sims had seven boards, two points, and one assist in his first start of the season. Donte DiVincenzo had a quiet night with three points, four rebounds, and five assists.

Grimes excelled off the bench with 19 points, three rebounds, and one assist. Hart had 16 points, eight assists, seven boards, and one steal. Hartenstein had 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block in his increased minutes. McBride had three points and three assists.

The Knicks will now head west and face off with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

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