Toronto Raptors maintain their unbeaten home record with victory over the New York Knicks
The Raptors have won six in a row and are off to a franchise-best 12-1 start to the season that now includes a 7-0 home record following Saturday’s 128-112 victory.
Siakam scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter as the Raptors proved too good for the Knicks with a host of players contributing yet again to the victory.
Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors shot 53 per cent from the field with OG Anunoby (16 points), Serge Ibaka (12 points, eight rebounds) and Kawhi Leonard (12 points, seven rebounds) chipping in.
Kyle Lowry scored 10 points and recorded seven assists against a Knicks team that have now lost three of their last four games despite a game-high 27 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and 15 points and 15 rebounds from Enes Kanter.
After the Knicks cut the lead to one early in the third quarter, the Raptors pulled away and took an 18-point advantage into the fourth that opened with a Valanciunas jumper that bumped the lead to 20.
The Raptors were able to stay in control through the fourth quarter, keeping the Knicks at arm’s length and completing a welcome return home after their four-game sweep of their Western swing.
Toronto tied the game at 25 at the end of the first quarter on Delon Wright’s put-back layup after nabbing the rebound on a 3-point attempt by CJ Miles.
After a steal by Miles, Anunoby banked in a three-foot jumper. Then, Wright’s layup capped an 8-0 run and Toronto led 43-36 with 6:09 to play in the second quarter.
The Raptors worked the lead to 11 when Leonard made one of two free throws with 2:43 left in the half. Hardaway’s three-pointer with 31 seconds remaining trimmed the lead to six and gave him 19 points on the game, 13 in the second quarter.
The Raptors led 64-53 at half-time but New York opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run, trimming the lead to three points on Frank Ntilikina’s three-pointer and Damyean Dotson’s driving layup cut the lead to one with just 8:51 left.
But the Raptors surged to a 16-point lead on Siakam’s three-pointer with 3:22 left in the third quarter and never looked back.
“I was kind of expecting a little bit of a West Coast grog, it’s common,” Nurse said. “I think it takes a little while to get your focus and your legs back underneath you.”
“I thought we were playing hard, that was the main thing,” he said, summing up win No. 12.
“We were playing a little careless on offence, we weren’t rebounding the ball very well, but we took care of both of those things in the second half and the second unit played really well.”
“We have so many threats,” Danny Green said. “On any given night, any guy can lead the team in scoring or come up big for us, even if it’s not scoring, it could be rebounding. Getting double-digit points could change the flow of the game for us. Every piece is very important to the puzzle we’re trying to build.”
Next up for the Raptors is a fixture against New Orleans Pelicans on Monday evening.