Knicks go for home-and-home sweep of the Raptors
The New York Knicks will go for a home-and-home sweep of the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night when the series shifts to Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks bested the Raptors, 99-94, on Friday at the Air Canada Centre. The victory clinched a playoff berth for the Knicks, who lead the Brooklyn Nets by 1 1/2 games for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks are one game behind the Indiana Pacers for second in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony, in only his second game back from injury, poured in 37 points to get the Knicks the win. Out for several games with a knee problem, Anthony did play over 43 minutes on Friday night.
"He played great," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "I talked about it at the top of the game not playing him big minutes like that, but this was a game we had to go get. I feel bad about it. Hopefully he'll sleep tonight, ice up and be ready for tomorrow."
Kenyon Martin, who was in his 10th game since the Knicks signed him, started at center with both Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler shelved with injuries. Martin had 19 points and 11 rebounds and J.R. Smith was the only other double- figure scorer for New York with 14.
The Knicks shot 53.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Raptors never led after early in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 15 points. They stayed competitive and were led by Alan Anderson, especially in the second half.
Anderson scored 20 of his career-best 35 points in the third quarter as he took many of the minutes when Rudy Gay didn't play in the second half due to back spasms.
"It feels really good personally but when you can't get the win, you wish you did a little bit more," said Anderson.
DeMar DeRozan chipped in 18 and Jonas Valanciunas added 10. No other Raptors player scored in double digits.
Gay's availability of Saturday night is unknown, but the Raptors' won't have to wait long for a chance at revenge.
"We definitely know that," said Amir Johnson. "It was a tough game, only lost by five. Melo had a great game. All we can say to them is 'We'll see you tomorrow.'"
The Raptors have lost three in a row and 10 of their last 13.
The Knicks have won three in a row since losing four straight on the western trip.
Toronto won the first two meetings this season prior to Friday's setback, including a 92-88 triumph at Madison Square Garden in February. The Raptors have won two of their last three in New York.