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Raptors Thump Knicks, But Narrowly Miss Playoffs

Related: Box Score | Photos | Game Rap | Ulmer: Puzzle Pieces Don't Come Together
Post-Game Video: Game In Six | Triano | Jack | Johnson | Calderon | Weems
1st Half Video: Sonny's Slam | DeMar's Finish | "Money Delivers!" | Amir With The Hammer
2nd Half Video: Sonny To DeMar | DeMar's Dunk | DeMar's Strong Drive | Jack Jams One Down
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April 14, 2010

TORONTO (CP) -- DeMar DeRozan had a career-high 24 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the New York Knicks 131-113 Wednesday night, but fell short of reaching the NBA post-season.

Toronto (40-42) did what it had to do, and did so in entertaining fashion. With injured forward Chris Bosh (facial fractures) watching from the sidelines in what could be his final game as a Toronto Raptor, his team set a season high in scoring -- buoyed by 24 points from Andrea Bargnani and 21 from Amir Johnson.

But Toronto also needed Chicago to lose in Charlotte, and the Bulls didn't comply -- they defeated the Bobcats 98-89 to lock up eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago will open the playoffs against the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Raptors will miss the post-season for the seventh time in nine seasons.

Sonny Weems added 18 points, Jose Calderon 15 and Marco Belinelli 14 for Toronto, which swept the season series against New York.

Bill Walker had a career-best 28 points to lead the Knicks (29-53), who went out meekly in their ninth consecutive losing season. Danilo Gallinari made five threes and finished with 22 points, while David Lee added 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

After scoring 73 points in the first half -- one shy of their season high -- the Raptors ran into some trouble in the third quarter. With Turkoglu on the bench after picking up his fourth foul, the Knicks reduced a nine-point halftime deficit to four on a Walker three-pointer.

Toronto extended its lead to nine, withstood two more Knicks rallies and reached the 100-point mark on a Calderon three-pointer with three minutes left in the third. DeRozan added 11 points in the quarter as the Raptors led 105-94 entering the fourth.

A DeRozan layup padded the lead to 15 points, then set his new career high in points with a one-handed tomahawk dunk to the delight of the Air Canada Centre crowd. The Knicks didn't challenge the rest of the way.

Despite a chant of "Let's Go Bobcats" from the ACC fans late in the game, Toronto's fate was sealed mere moments after the victory. Chicago had little trouble against a Charlotte team that rested its starters in the second and fourth quarters, having already locked up the No. 7 seed in the East.

Toronto shot a season-best 65 per cent from the field compared to just 43 for the Knicks. New York outrebounded Toronto 38-33.

The teams opened by exchanging leads until the midway point of the first quarter, when a Johnson layup put Toronto up 18-14. Weems added an emphatic dunk two possessions later to extend the lead to six, and a Bargnani three capped the game-breaking 15-4 run.

Bargnani led all scorers with 11 points and the Raptors shot 70 per cent in the quarter to enjoy a 33-30 advantage after one.

Consecutive threes from Bargnani and Jack early in the second quarter helped Toronto build its lead to double digits, and it stayed there for the rest of the half. Toronto finished at 70 per cent for the half, with Bargnani's game-high 18 points giving the Raptors a 73-64 edge at the break.

Notes: Fans chanted "We Want More CB4" between the first and second quarters. Bosh, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, acknowledged the chant with a wave. ... Bosh enters the off-season as the franchise leader in points (9,275) and rebounds (4,450). Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is the only other active player to lead his team in points and rebounds all-time. ... Jack threw himself into the crowd behind the Raptors bench in the fourth quarter, ending up about 10 rows deep. He high-fived fans on his way back to the court. ... The Raptors scored a franchise-best 8,534 points this season, surpassing the old record of 8,256 set four seasons ago. ... Lee entered Wednesday averaging 25.7 points, 16.7 rebounds and four assists in three meetings with Toronto this season. He finished the year with 53 double-doubles.