Led by DeMar DeRozan with 30 points, the Toronto Raptors beat the New York Knicks 96-79 on Friday night, March 23 in Canada, ending NY's five-game winning streak. The Knicks had been building momentum ever since coach Mike D'Antoni resigned and was replaced with Mike Woodson.
The zone knocked us on our heels, Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. We had trouble finding ways to score against it and that really was the outcome because we never got a rhythm or momentum.
Chandler said the Raptor's zone defense was similar to the style her played under Casey when they were with Dallas last year.
It's designed to force you to take jump shots and we kind of fell into the trap, Chandler said.
The strategy clearly worked and the Knicks shot just 32 for 85 (38 percent).
Everybody struggled to make shots, and I mean wide-open shots, New York coach Mike Woodson said. I thought we moved the ball but we just couldn't make shots and defensively we couldn't get stops. That's a bad combination.
The Raptors had lost seven of their last 10 games, but never lost the lead in last night's game against the Knicks, leading by as much as 22. Andrea Bargani had 21 points and seven rebounds. Gary Forbes scored 19 in 20 minutes on the court. Jose Calderon added 14 points.
They kicked out butt in New York, said Forbes, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. Coach reiterated how we got punked and had to come in here and protect our home court.
The Knicks were led by Amare Stoudemire, who scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. Steve Novak scored 15 points and Carmelo Anthony added 12. Jeremy Lin scored just six points in 25 minutes of play, dishing out four assists.
We didn't necessarily attack as much as we should have, Lin said afterwards. It's something we really don't have a lot of plays for, so we kind of just float around the outside and end up settling for a lot of jumpers.
The Knicks are now 23-25 after just edging back up to n even .500, and NY is now just a game ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff seat in the eastern conference. The Raptors are now 16-32 this season.
The NY Knicks will take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 pm Saturday night.