Balanced attack helps Raptors rout Knicks 113-88
February 09 2018 11:16 PM
Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka shoots for a basket over New York Knicks forward Michael Beasley in the second-half of their NBA game at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports

AFP/Los Angeles

Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 13 points and eight rebounds to lead seven Toronto Raptors in double figures in a 113-88 win over the visiting New York Knicks on Thursday night at Air Canada Centre.
Michael Beasley had 21 points to lead the Knicks, who lost for the fifth straight game to fall a season-worst 10 games under .500 (23-33). No other New York player had more than Trey Burke’s 12 points in the Knicks’ first game without leading-scorer Kristaps Porzingis, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Tuesday’s loss to Milwaukee.
Toronto’s bench dominated New York’s, as five Raptor reserves scored in double figures, led by Pascal Siakam’s 14 points. Jakob Poeltl had 13 points and Delon Wright and CJ Miles each added 11 for Toronto, which moved to 23-4 at home. Toronto has won four straight games and six of seven.
With Porzingis and Enes Kanter (mouth) out, the Knicks had no answer for the Raptors inside. Toronto outrebounded New York 52-43 and held the Knicks to 40 percent shooting, including 26 percent from 3-point range. Aside from Beasley, New York’s other four starters – Tim Hardaway Jr., Kyle O’Quinn, Jarrett Jack and Courtney Lee – combined for 13-of-37 shooting.
The Knicks kept it close early, trailing 17-16 late in the first quarter, but the Raptors took an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter and went into the halftime break up 52-41. Toronto extended the lead in the third and fourth quarters, outscoring the Knicks in the second half, 61-47.
New York heads to Indiana tomorrow for a matchup with the Pacers, while the Raptors head on the road tomorrow for the first time after a 4-0 homestand with a matinee tilt at Charlotte. The Knicks are currently on a 2-8 stretch that has them 5 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Celtics in overtime
The Boston Celtics maintained a one-game advantage over Toronto atop the East with a 110-104 overtime victory over the Wizards in Washington.
Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Celtics bounced back from a loss to the Raptors on Tuesday.
Trailing at halftime, they emerged from a tight third quarter with a five-point lead and stretched it to as many as 10 in the fourth. But they needed three clutch free throws from Irving, who was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all the foul shots to knot the score at 98-98 with 9.8 seconds left in regulation.
It went to overtime when Bradley Beal’s tough jump shot contested by Irving at the buzzer missed. Jaylen Brown scored five of his 18 points for Boston in overtime, when the Celtics out-scored the Wizards 12-6 to finally put the game away.
His three-pointer with 1:43 remaining put the Celtics up 108-103, and the Wizards wouldn’t get the deficit below four points from there.
“The shot clock was going down so I took my time and shot a shot that I’ve been practising,” Brown said of the step-back three. “I’ve been working on it a lot, and it showed itself in the game.”
The Portland Trail Blazers won in overtime, too, stretching their home winning streak to nine games with a 109-103 triumph over the Charlotte Hornets. It was close in Orlando, where Evan Fournier’s 22 points led the Magic in a 100-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Magic were also boosted by 18 points and nine assists from point guard D.J. Augustin – newly arrived from Phoenix in a trade-deadline deal.
The Los Angeles Lakers, still awaiting the arrival of their trade-deadline acquisitions from Cleveland Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, defeated the under-manned Oklahoma City Thunder 106-81.
It was their second win in five days over the Thunder – who were without injured Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, leading five Lakers in double figures. Paul George scored 29 points for Oklahoma City.
Lakers coach Luke Walton was pleased to see his young team dig in against the Thunder on a day when many were unsettled by the departure of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in the deal with Cleveland.
Walton noted that it was the first time some of the Lakers had teammates shipped out suddenly. “It was pretty quiet in the film room,” he said. “I didn’t know how long it would take, but the energy before the game was already better.”

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