Written by William Lee
New York yet again got off to a slow start in Sunday’s matinee game, going down double digits when Terrence Ross and Kyle Lowry combined for a 10-0 run to lead 17-7 midway through the first quarter. Ross dominated early on, reaching double figures scoring before the halfway mark of the opening period. Raptors shot 50% from the field, including five from downtown to lead 33-25 after one quarter of play. New York was able to stay somewhat in the game by getting to the line nine times, failing to convert only once.
Back to back threes by Lowry and potential sixth man of the year Lou Williams gave the Raptors their largest lead in the second quarter, leading 52-36 with 5:21 remaining in the first half. A 12-4 run to end the half by New York got them within striking distance 58-51 entering intermission. Carmelo Anthony kept New York in the game, scoring 15 of his 28 game high points in the first half.
With only ten active players suiting up for New York due to all the injuries, the body count dwindled down one more. Samuel Dalembert was ejected out of the game with a flagrant two foul called a minute into the second half. While wrestling for position in the post, Dalembert elbowed Jonas Valanciunas in the face, sending him to the locker room early.
Toronto opened up the second half on a 17-7 run, capped off by a vicious slam dunk by Ross to give the Raptors’ a 75-58 lead early in the third quarter. Ross finished the game with 18 points, connecting on four three-pointers.
New York responded immediately with a 9-2 run, cutting the deficit to ten points 77-67. Although this would be as close as New York would get, even though the Knicks shot well from the floor in the second half, converting on 51.2% field goal attempts. All the two-point field goals just could not keep up with Toronto’s three-point shooting, connecting on seven beyond the arc in the second half. Toronto made 14 threes in total for the game, while New York only attempted 14 threes in the game.
Toronto won the game wire to wire 118-108, completely running away with the Atlantic Division, as they stand on top of the Eastern Conference improving to 21-6 for the season. Toronto had six players in double figures, with three players scoring over 20. Lou Williams (22points) and Greivis Vasquez (21 points) both came off the bench, leading the second unit, Raptors had 49 points from the bench. Lowry led the way with 22 points and 9 assist for Toronto.
Jose Calderon who started his NBA career in Toronto received a warm ovation from the Air Canada Centre. Calderon finished the game with a double-double 15 points and 10 assist, but it still wasn’t enough to get the Knicks close.