TORONTO – Gary Trent Jr., scored 24 points, including a vital treble with just over a minute of play, to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 90-87 win over the New York Knicks on Friday.
Fred VanVleet has 17 points and 11 assists, while rookie Scottie Barnes has a career-high 15 rebounds, plus 12 for the non-German Raptors (12-14). Pascal Siakam has 13 points and 12 pounds, while Chris Boucher trails off with 14 points.
Canadian RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin lead the Knicks (12-14) with 19 points each.
After a last-second one-point loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, the Raptors took a 20-point lead in the first quarter on Friday and seemed headed for an easy win.
But the Knicks – who started day 11 in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Toronto – have other plans. The Raptors took a 69-65 lead to start the fourth inning, but Toppin’s three-goal pointer forced it into goal four minutes into groans from the Scotiabank Arena crowd.
VanVleet put them on hold with three pointers for a five-point lead at 4:29, then Siakam ate a Barnes pitch for six with about three minutes to play.
Barrett had five points in the 7-0 Knicks run that put the visitors one point ahead, but Trent connected from long distance for an 89-87 advantage with 1:11 to play.
Siakam missed a diver, Julius Randle missed on his three-point attempt, and then fell three points with 0.2 points on the clock, Barrett scoring a three-point effort off the belt.
The Raptors got off to a good start, picking up five three points in the first quarter, including one from Trent, giving them a 20-point lead. Toronto 34-14 lead to start second.
The Knicks’ bench scored 20 points in the second to energize the 29-9 game in New York, and when Immanuel Quickley scored three to close the game, the players on the Knicks’ bench The Knicks jumped to their feet to celebrate. The Raptors closed the round with an 11-3 scoreline conceded by a Siakam player with half a second on the clock, and Toronto entered halftime with a score of 50-42.
Barrett had nine points in the third inning, including five in a row that gave the Knicks a one-point gain.
Barrett, a 21-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., is returning to form after missing a few games earlier this month due to a non-COVID illness that Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said has affected his performance. 3rd pick in the 2019 draft. Barrett missed one game and had to leave another after just eight minutes.
The Raptors continue to battle injuries. OG Anunoby missed his 11th game with a hip injury, while Khem Birch sat a seventh straight game with swollen knees, and Precious Achiuwa was also sidelined (shoulder tendonitis).
The Raptors also have a COVID-19 scare. The team canceled Thursday’s practice session out of “out of an abundance of caution” after the team’s president and vice president Masai Ujiri tested positive for COVID-19. Ujiri, who has been fully vaccinated including a booster shot, said it was later learned that he had tested positive at his Giants of Africa event on Sunday.
“Super fan” Nav Bhatia missed his first home game against the Raptors, ending a 26-year streak. Bhatia attended Ujiri’s African Giants event, and as such, she was quarantined under Toronto’s Public Health order.
The Raptors were hit hard by the pandemic last March while playing in Tampa, Fla. Without many key players, they fell at the Eastern Conference and missed the knockout stages.
The Raptors host the Sacramento Kings on Monday in the final game of a season-long seven-game house.
This Canadian Press report was first published on December 20, 2021.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8442743/raptors-hold-on-to-beat-knicks-90-87/ Raptors hold on to beat Knicks 90-87