Game Rap: Raptors 118, Knicks 107
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan completed a three-point play to give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 26.8 seconds remaining. Norman Powell sealed the victory at the free throw line, shooting 4-for-4 to close out the 118-107 win against the New York Knicks.
The Raptors played the part of Huskies on Saturday, honouring the 70th anniversary of the Toronto Huskies first season and game against the New York Knicks. The team wore blue and white throwback uniforms, and played on a throwback Huskies court.
STARTING FIVE SWITCH-UP
Shortly before tip the team announced that Norman Powell would be moving into the starting five. Powell replaced regular starter DeMarre Carroll who sat out the back-to-back for rest.
FINDING A WAY
With the score close throughout, Toronto held a two-point lead to start the fourth. Once again, the Raptors put together a solid fourth quarter effort to pull away and get the win. On Saturday, the shots didn’t fall easily in the fourth, as Toronto shot just 36 percent in the fourth, but the team got to the line 11 times in the quarter scoring 10 of their 31 points at the line. In comparison, the Knicks took just four trips to the line in fourth. Norman Powell scored eight of his 19 points in the fourth, where he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Lucas Nogueira had a monster game on the defensive end of the floor, coming off the bench to record six points, 10 rebounds, an assist, three steals and five blocked shots. Nogueira played 26 minutes and had two of his blocks in the fourth where he blocked Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose on consecutive possessions to protect Toronto’s lead with less than two minutes remaining. It was a huge performance for Nogueira who is getting an opportunity to fill the opening left by Bismack Biyombo’s departure. After the game, Nogueira said that Biyombo told him over the summer that it’s his time to shine.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan once again topped the 30-point threshold, putting in a 33-point effort against the Knicks while getting MVP chants from the ACC crowd. DeRozan shot 11-for-23 from the floor, 1-for-1 from the three-point line (on a four-point play opportunity), and 10-for-13 from the free throw line. He added seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes. DeRozan became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1986-87 to score 30 points in eight of his first nine games.
THAT'S A RAP…
“It’s great. Fans don’t get to see how much work guys like Lucas put in. Whether it is after practice or before practice. Here months before the season starts getting ready for the year. They put in a lot of work for opportunities just like that and he is just doing what he is well prepared for.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Lucas Nogueira taking advantage of his opportunity
BY THE #’S
16…Points, six rebounds, six assists for Kyle Lowry in 41 minutes.
10…Steals for the Raptors, three for the Knicks. New York turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 23 Raptors points. Toronto had 11 turnovers, leading to 13 Knicks points.
47…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 45 percent shooting for the Knicks.
87…Percent shooting from the free throw line for Toronto (33-for-38), 75 percent for New York (12-for-16).
THEY SAID IT…
“You know, when you’re a little kid thinking about the NBA and making it, you’re looking up to these guys like Carmelo [Anthony], imagining yourself playing them. To be called on to guard him for the majority of the game, and go against one of your idols, it’s an amazing experience and I had a lot of fun.”
- Norman Powell on guarding Carmelo Anthony
“It’s about confidence but not just self-confidence, you need somebody to trust and believe in you. And I can tell right now not only the fans but the whole organization believes in my game. So this is the reason they believe in me to close the quarter, to close the whole game. Honestly, I don’t know how to explain, I feel very, like, emotional. Because I know how much I’ve been through the first two years here, and now I have the chance to play those big minutes, and closing the games for me is very special.”
- Lucas Nogueira on being healthy and getting the opportunity to prove himself
“He's playing at an all-star level, converting, getting bumped, getting hit, still finishing the play. He's playing an old man's game. The game is slowing down for him and he's converting those plays”
- Dwane Casey on DeMar DeRozan
“It’s super rewarding for me. I know I’m always tougher on all my guys because I want the best from them. To see him coming out there and playing the way he’s playing and showing the ability he has and getting out there and showing what he can do, it always make a guy feel better. But it always makes the team feel better.”
- Kyle Lowry on watching the success of younger teammates
The Raptors head to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Tuesday at 7 P.M. ET.