Knicks run over Raptors

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan loses the ball as he is surrounded by New York Knicks' Bill Walker...

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan loses the ball as he is surrounded by New York Knicks' Bill Walker and Toney Douglas. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

This one was bad from the very start.

At one end, Carmelo Anthony was hitting everything he tried, most of it from distance. At the other, the Raptors collectively began the game 0-for-9 from the field, not scoring until the game was over four minutes old.

It wasn’t hard to tell which team was playoff-bound and which was booking tee times for late next week as the Knicks rolled over the Raptors for the fourth time this year, 131-118.

It was a drastic freefall from the feel-good weekend the Raptors were just coming off when they gave the Bulls everything they could handle in a near loss Saturday and then turned around and downed the playoff-bound Orlando Magic the following night at the Air Canada Centre.

In his pre-game chat with the media, Triano was asked a hypothetical question by a member of the New York media.

“If you were to face the Knicks in the playoffs how would you game plan for them?” Triano was asked.

The first words out of Triano’s mouth and presumably the first thing he told his team as they prepared for the Knicks was “Protect the three-point line.”

Clearly no one chose to heed that warning.

Once Anthony drained his first three threes with nary a hand in his face, Toney Douglas saw the ease with which those shots were being defended and went on a three-point run of his own draining four in five attempts. His only miss was the lone time a Raptor defender was actually in his vicinity. Douglas wound up with a team-high 28 points in the game.

Through the first half, Anthony had attempted six triples and was good on five of them. Right behind him was Douglas making good on four of his five. No Knick — and five of them made attempts was shooting less than 50% from three after two periods. As a team they were shooting a ridiculous 75% from beyond the arc.

The Raptors adjusted in the second half but by then the damage had been done.

The Knicks for the game wound up shooting 56% from deep, hitting just 3-of-11 from there in the second half, but still wound up with 15 threes on the night.

Credit the Raptors for refusing to quit on this one. Down by as many as 29 towards the end of the half, the Raptors continued to battle and got it down to 10 points with seven minutes left, but that was as close as they would get.

With Bargnani a non-factor, the offence fell to the younger Raptors led by DeMar DeRozan who had 36 — one off a career high — and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Ed Davis, who started the game on the bench with Bargnani initially back in the starting lineup still wound up playing 40 minutes and finished with a career-high 22 points and 13 boards.

Had the Raptors defended the three-point line a little more earnestly, this might have been an entertaining game, but other than a few minutes midway through the fourth when the Raptors made a brief run, there was very little in doubt about the eventual outcome.

The Raptors did welcome Andrea Bargnani back into the lineup but the return only lasted a half, a very unproductive one at that.

Bargnani played 8:25, went 0-for-4 from the field, had two rebounds, a turnover and did not return to the Raptors bench for the second half.

His sore right ankle, that kept him out the past two games was still giving him problems.

Neither Jose Calderon (sore left hamstring) nor Leandro Barbosa (sore right pinky finger) dressed for the game leaving Jerryd Bayless the lone true point guard on the roster for the night.

With Bayless in foul trouble for much of the night, a few guys who normally wouldn’t get the chance to run the point got just that.

James Johnson became the back-up to Bayless and if you thought Bayless looked for his own shot a little too much at the expense of his teammates, you probably didn’t enjoy Johnson’s approach to the position.

Julian Wright also got a shot at running the point but by that point the deficit was holding steady in the high teens and lower 20s.

Bayless eventually fouled out with 2:37 to go leaving it to Johnson and Wright to finish up.


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