Knicks surge past the Raptors in a dominant 119-106 win

NBA: New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a secret that the Knicks have played poorly against the Raptors in recent years, going 2-14 in their last 16 contests in Toronto. With a strong first quarter, the Raptors would punch back in the second quarter to tie the game at 57 entering halftime. A well-balanced offense saw six players on the Knicks register double-digit points, and by dominating in the third quarter, they put the Raptors in the rear mirror for a strong 119-106 win on the road.

The Knicks were dominant from downtown, and they improved to 12-7 on the season in another impressive showing for one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month.

A Great Team Effort Guides the Knicks to Another Win

NBA: New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors
Dec 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) controls the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) tries to defend during the first quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Brunson would lead the Knicks on offense with 22 points, shooting nine of 21 (42.9%) from the field and adding eight assists as well. While not as dominant as his 42-point masterclass against the Pistons, Brunson helped keep the Knicks’ offense alive in the early parts of the game, and the rest of the team would pick things up as he cooled off. It was a stellar shooting night for first-year Knick Donte DiVincenzo, who knocked down seven of his nine attempts from downtown (77.8%) for 21 points.

DiVincenzo was shooting a white-hot 48.8% from deep on 6.1 attempts a game in his previous seven games before this one, and he’s really come alive after a slow start to the season. He helped the Knicks drain 16 of their 36 attempts from three (44.4%) which proved to be the difference-maker in this Friday night contest in Toronto. Julius Randle, who’s been exemplary as of late, added 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists going +15 on the night.

He’s averaging 23.5 points per game on 48.6% shooting in his last eight games, and his improved play has certainly helped New York on this recent stretch of strong play. Josh Hart, who opened the season struggling on offense, added 17 points of his own on 11 shots, knocking down three of his four attempts from downtown and bringing down eight rebounds as well. RJ Barrett struggled again and hasn’t looked sharp since returning from the migraine as he shot just 6-18 from the field.

NBA: New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors
Dec 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) collides with Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) during the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

He still added six dimes and four rebounds, but the shooting woes have become apparent. It was expected that he’d regress from shooting over 50% from three, however, he could be due for a big performance sometime soon. Immanuel Quickley scored 10 points on six shots, and Isaiah Harteinstein was also able to add four points and eight rebounds, as the bench was brilliant on the night. Quentin Grimes has continued to struggle with just four points on the night, although he made his first two free throws on the season.

Mitchell Robinson had a quiet rebounding night for his standards with just five, but also had four steals and six points, going +6 on the court for the Knicks. New York will continue their road trip with a quarterfinal matchup against the Bucks for the In-Season Tournament, as they’ll tip off next Tuesday in a contest between two top playoff teams in the Eastern Conference following the Sixers’ loss to the Celtics.