Toronto Raptors Beat New York Knicks Behind Strong Second Half

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks didn’t have Carmelo Anthony in the lineup and the team lacked their go-to guy in a heavy loss against the Toronto Raptors at the Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks had a nine-point lead after the first half, but like what has happened many times in the second part of games, the team played with a lackluster effort on the defensive end. Their fourth quarter execution was abysmal on both sides of the court and as a result, the Raptors stole a huge 95-83 win on the road.

The Raptors outscored the Knicks 29-12 in the fourth quarter and the offense was led by youngster Jonas Valanciunas, who finished with a double-double. The Lithuanian prospect was a force on both ends of the ball and ended the contest with 16 points and 18 rebounds, showcasing some of his potential at times and being an absolute monster on the paint against a well-established player like Tyson Chandler.

The rest of the offense was led by DeMar DeRozan – 25 points – and Kyle Lowry – 15 points and 11 assists – as they completely erased the Knicks from the court. It’s really troubling what has happened with New York this season and it has been outplayed – once again – by a team it should’ve beat easily.

Despite putting up some bad shooting percentages – including 35 percent from three-point range and less than 70 percent from the charity stripe – the Raptors ended up on top in a tight contest that showed all their grit in this campaign. The team is currently on the thick of a playoff race thanks to the fact they’re in a very weak Atlantic Division and if they can keep winning these close games, then the Raptors might clinch a postseason berth once the regular season is over.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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