(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks will try to get back on track Wednesday
night when they host their Atlantic Division rival, the Toronto Raptors, at
Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have lost two of their last three, including a tough home loss
Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Clippers. L.A.'s bench led the way in
a decisive fourth quarter as Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe anchored an
attack that saw the reserves score 48 points.
"Their bench has been good for them all year, our bench has been great for us.
That was the difference tonight," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We just
didn't get it tonight. I had a lot to do with that."
Woodson tried to go with Amare Stoudemire for offense in the fourth, but the
Clippers took advantage of Stoudemire's defensive inadequacies. Woodson also
didn't use the bench much outside of Stoudemire and J.R. Smith. No reserve
played more than seven minutes besides those two.
Carmelo Anthony led the way with 42 points and Raymond Felton added 20. No
other Knicks player scored in double figures.
This will be the Knicks last game before the All-Star break. Anthony was
elected as a starter for the Eastern Conference team and will be joined in
Houston by center Tyson Chandler, who will make his first All-Star game
The Raptors have enjoyed the return on their investment in Rudy Gay. After he
made a game-winner in overtime against the Indiana Pacers Friday, Gay drained
the deciding bucket with 4.8 seconds to play to defeat the Denver Nuggets on
Gay was anchored to the bench with foul trouble through most of the fourth,
but came back and led the Raptors to their third straight victory.
"My hands were sweating, I couldn't stop moving my legs. I was itching to get
back in," said Gay. "Obviously it's not a game I'm proud of, but I'm proud to
get a win with the team. I'm happy the team still had confidence in me."
His coach knew Gay would be up to the challenge.
"He's a closer," said Dwane Casey. "His role card has closer all across the
front of it. He has done it his whole career. He has done it at high levels,
like in the playoffs. I have seen him do it so many times. That is what he
Gay failed to score 20 points for the first time as a Raptor when he finished
with 17. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 22, followed by John Lucas III, who
netted 14 points with 12 coming on fourth-quarter 3-pointers. Kyle Lowry had
11 points and 10 assists and Alan Anderson scored all 10 of his points in the
Since acquiring Gay in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto is 4-2.
This is, surprisingly, the first meeting of the season between the division
rivals. The two split last season's four matchups with each side winning once
at home and once on the road.
The Sports Network