Toronto At New York
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
There is no better cure for a long losing streak than a date with the New York Knicks, and the Toronto Raptors will try to stop a four-game slide when they visit New York on Saturday. The Raptors managed to hang onto sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference thanks to Cleveland’s loss on Friday but are nowhere near the top of their game. The Knicks snapped an eight-game skid with a double-overtime win in Detroit on Friday.
Toronto had three days to prepare for the Golden State Warriors but went a franchise-worst 1-of-19 from the floor in the first quarter and fell behind by 41 points by the end of the third in Friday’s 113-89 home loss. The struggles of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan on the offensive end are partly to blame, but the Raptors put up little resistance on the defensive end as well in matching their longest slide of the season. The one positive is that none of the starters was used for more than 27 minutes in the loss, while New York will be trying to find its legs after battling the Pistons for 58 minutes.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SportsNet (Toronto), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (37-21): Lowry described his play of late as “trash” during the week and did not show much improvement Friday while scoring four points on 1-of-7 shooting without an assist. The All-Star is 15-of-54 from the field and 3-of-26 from beyond the arc in the last four games, while backcourt mate DeRozan is in a similar slump at 21-of-66 during the losing streak. Toronto tried to generate some offense at the start by inserting Patrick Patterson into the starting lineup against the Warriors, but he was limited to four points in 22 minutes.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (11-46): Andrea Bargnani is one of the few healthy veterans left for New York, and the former No. 1 overall pick broke out with season highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds in the 121-115 win over Detroit. The next step is for the Knicks to stop a four-game home slide, and they will play three of their next four in their own arena. The losing season is allowing New York’s front office to get a longer look at several younger players, and Shane Larkin broke out for 16 points in 36 minutes at Detroit after sitting out the previous three games with an illness.
1. Knicks G Langston Galloway has scored in double figures in each of the last four games.
2. Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 11 rebounds in five games since the All-Star break.
3. Toronto took the first two meetings this season, including a 95-90 overtime win in New York on Dec. 14.
PREDICTION: Raptors 102, Knicks 94
Stats and Records
New York Off vs
92.8 Points For
100.5 Points Against