by Jonah Ballow

5:00 PM ET | Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  On Thursday night, a shorthanded Knicks team fell to the Raptors 113-88 in Toronto.  One of the league’s hottest teams showed its strength and depth by limiting the offensive productivity from the road team.  Toronto’s bench combined to score 61 points as the Raptors improved to 23-4 on their home floor.  Michael Beasley led New York in scoring with 21 points, Trey Burke added 12 off the pine, and Jarrett Jack finished with 10 points.

2.  As mentioned above, the Knicks were missing key players in the starting lineup for Thursday’s tilt against the Raptors.  Ron Baker and Kristaps Porzingis are out for the season and Enes Kanter was sidelined due to oral surgery.  Kanter will return to the lineup for the game against Indiana.

3.  Head coach Jeff Hornacek said newly acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will be available for the matchup against the Pacers tonight.  On Thursday, Mudiay was acquired in a three-team deal that sent forward Doug McDermott to Dallas.  Mudiay holds career averages of 11.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 25.6 minutes of court time.  In the 2016 Rising Stars game, Mudiay exploded for 30 points and 10 assists while playing next to Porzingis in the starting lineup.  The point guard was also named to the 2015-16 All NBA Rookie Second Team.  

4.  A bright spot in Thursday’s game was the performance of rookie Luke Kornet.  New York brought Kornet up from the Westchester G League team as part of the Two-Way contract.  Kornet looked comfortable on the NBA stage by registering 11 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.  The 7-foooter hit 4-of-9 shots from the floor and three buckets from the arc to conclude his Knicks debut.

5.  New York and Indiana head into the rubber match of the season series tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  In the first meeting, the Knicks battled back from a 19-point deficit to upend the Pacers 108-101 at Madison Square Garden.  Indiana answered in the second contest with a 115-97 victory on its home floor.  The Pacers just knocked off the Celtics on Friday night to improve to 31-25 on the season.  While Indiana is missing Darren Collison (knee injury), the team has won five its last seven games.  The Pacers enter tonight’s contest as one of the most efficient shooting teams in the league with an offensive rating of 108.1 and the third-best field goal percentage in the NBA.  Both teams will hit the road following the contest with New York heading to Philadelphia and Indiana traveling to Brooklyn to face the Nets.


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