After coming off their most impressive win of the season in a 112-105 victory against the Suns, the Raptors failed to capitalize on a New York Knicks team in the second half of a back-to-back losing 119-106. To use the age old cliche “it was a tale of two halves” would be an accurate description of last night’s game. The first half featured back and forth play, creative offense and was overall an entertaining watch as the two Atlantic division rivals went into the break all tied up. Then, the second half began and New York went on a 14-4 run and never looked back.
Shooting is what caused the Raptors to be “Divin-Done-Zo”
I’ll admit, I stole that Donte DiVincenzo pun from Raptors Republic’s Samson Folk. But it couldn’t be more true. DiVincenzo tied a career high with seven three pointers as he spearheaded the three point charge from New York. The Knicks made 16 threes and shot 44.4% from distance outscoring the Raptors by 30 from downtown. Toronto on the other hand, shot an abysmal 6/32 (18.8%) from the three point line. If you take out Scottie Barnes’ 3/7 three point shooting night, the numbers look even worse finishing 3/25 for 12%. The main culprits were Pascal Siakam going 0/4, and OG Anunoby and Dennis Schroder going 1 for 6. You just aren’t going to win many basketball games with shooting performances like that one.
Knicks bench bullies the Raptors
Simply put, New York’s bench was fantastic, while Toronto’s was sub-par. The Knickerbockers won the bench points duel 50-25, and those 16 threes that they hit??? 10 of them came from the reserves. Josh Hart, Immanuel Quickley and the aforementioned DiVincenzo were all in double figures and gave the Dino’s fits all night. The bench for Canada’s team was nothing to write home about as well. The five players who came in (Malachi Flynn, Chris Boucher, Jalen McDaniels, Precious Achiuwa, and Gary Trent Jr.) went 11/33 (33.3%), and were a combined -30. The one standout was Boucher however, after only playing three minutes in Toronto’s last game in Phoenix, the veteran forward came into the game and impacted it immediately. Finishing with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Scottie’s special season continues to shine
There was a positive to this game, and his name is Scottie Barnes. Early in the first quarter Barnes had an and-one over Julius Randle and would not slow down after that. The former Florida State Seminole started the game 7/7 from the field and was getting to his spots with ease. He finished one rebound short of a double-double with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block. He shot 13/19 (68.4%) from the field and 3/7 (42.9%) from three and was truly a difference maker all over the court for Toronto. We should have known Barnes was going to have a good game when he arrived at Scotiabank Arena in one of the greatest soccer players to ever do it’s jersey, Christine Sinclair.
Another notable performance for Toronto came from Pascal Siakam. In one of the few games where Siakam and Barnes both had it going, Siakam finished with 21 buckets, eight rebounds, and three assists.
With Toronto being eliminated from the In-Season Tournament, the Raptors end a stretch of eight games in 13 days and will now have a business week off before wrapping up a three game homestand against the Miami Heat on December 6th.