In a game where the Raptors could never quite gain a foothold and use a run to build a lead, they managed to whittle an eight-point Knicks advantage down to just 96-93 with a minute to play in the fourth.
But both Linas Kleiza and Leandro Barbosa missed three-point attempts to afford Ray Felton the opportunity to ice the game at the line for the Knicks with two free throws. Rough shooting performance for the Raptors and a tough loss to swallow, but some definite positives can be drawn.
Not a brilliant shooting night from Amar'e Stoudemire (7-16 FGM-A) and his nine turnovers certainly didn't earn him this distinction, but with the Raps threatening early in the fourth he spearheaded a crucial New York run.
Stoudemire blocked a Bargnani lay-up attempt, made one of two at the line and proceeded to rattle off three straight field goals that restored an eight-point Knicks cushion in the game's dying minutes. "He's going to be a finisher and that's his job," said his head coach Mike D'Antoni post-game.
A tale of two halves for Andrea Bargnani, who shot just 1-8 from the floor in the last two quarters, but you have to encouraged by his start.
Bargnani scored 10 of the Raptors' 22 points in the first quarter on his way to 18 by halftime. He would get to the line a team-high eight times on the night, add six rebounds and two blocks. Sustaining that level of play for four quarters consistently remains the goal. But he certainly did his part early on Wednesday.
"In a way. I'm surprised we didn't shoot the ball better. I can't say of the 94 shots we attempted that there was a handful of bad ones. I liked the shots we had. We had layups, probably five of six layups that we didn't complete and if those go in; we're in a one-point game there are a lot of little things that can swing. Heck, we all want to win though, so there is no moral victory here."
- Jay Triano, on the effort after a poor shooting night.
Fri., Oct. 29 vs. Cavaliers.
TSN2, 7 PM (GET TICKETS)
|GAME NOTES: |
The Raptors go back to the drawing board as the conclude their season-opening mini two-game homestand against the Cavs. Like the Raptors, the Cavs lost some significant star power this summer. You may have heard. But Cleveland is off to a great start following a 95-87 home win over the Boston Celtics at the Q.
|18,722||Attendance for Wednesday's home opener at ACC.|
|1||3-Pointers needed by Andrea Bargnani to tie Doug Christie for 3rd all-time in Raptors history.|
|16||Rebounds for Reggie Evans, tying a Raptors season-opener record|
|52-40||Points in the paint favouring the Knicks|
|38.3||Overall shooting percentage for the Raptors|
|"He's kind of like Dennis Rodman. He goes out there, does his job and does it very well.''|
- Linas Kleiza, on teammate Reggie Evans
|"Yeah, but I didn't remember nine turnovers. A cripple double''|
- Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni, on if he saw the Stoudemire he remembered.
|"We were playing good basketball, but not all game. We had opportunities to make a run, but we never did."|
- Andrea Bargnani, on consistency