Knicks looking for fourth straight win as they take on the Raptors

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Jan 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks (21-18) have been one streaky team over the past month. After winning a season-high eight straight games, they lost five straight games to close out 2022.

Now, they have won three consecutive games and will look to make it four straight wins when as they head on the road for a one-game road trip versus the Toronto Raptors (16-22). This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season.

The Knicks played the Raptors at Madison Square Garden back on December 21st. Toronto snapped New York’s eight-game winning streak on their home floor thanks to Pascal Siakam’s career-high 52 points. In that same game, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle combined for 60 points for the Knicks, but it was ultimately not enough to secure a win.

This time, the Knicks will look to thwart Siakam and crew from wrecking another winning streak that New York has.

In the Raptors’ previous game, Siakam had his first down game in quite some time, scoring just 11 points and shooting 4/18 from the field. The Raptors would end up losing to the Milwaukee Bucks 104-101 in overtime despite miraculously coming back from a 21-point deficit in the final minutes of regulation.

The Knicks are riding a high:

The Knicks are coming off a thrilling 117-114 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, a game in which Jalen Brunson scored a new regular season career-high 38 points, and Julius Randle had his best all-around game of the season amidst a torrid stretch that has ignited his All-Star campaign.

New York has an ironic advantage despite being the away team in this matchup, as they have a better road record compared to their home record this season (11-8 on the road and 10-10 at home). Despite the Raptors’ 11-9 record at home this season, they have lost seven of their last nine games on their home floor dating back to December 5th.

The Raptors come into this game as the three-point spread favorites, but considering the trends, these two teams are on, this is the Knicks’ game to lose. Toronto is coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss after making a grueling comeback. Losses like that are very difficult to overcome in an instant, and playing in overtime after using lots of energy for a comeback can be tiring for teams.

The Knicks will also almost certainly center their gameplan around stopping Pascal Siakam from getting hot, and doing so will be the key for New York to exit Toronto with a victory.

Looking at injuries, the Knicks will not have RJ Barrett, as he out with a lacerated finger. For the Raptors, Otto Porter (toe) is out.

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