Raptors 90, Knicks 87: Obi Toppin’s career night not enough to stifle Toronto

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The New York Knicks dropped their second consecutive game on Friday evening, despite a phenomenal effort by second-year forward Obi Toppin. The Knicks were recently blown out by the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, but a stellar defensive effort wasn’t enough to stifle the Toronto Raptors, who entered the game with a 4–9 record at home.

The Knicks scored just 87 points in the game, finding themselves down by double digits in the second quarter after recording just 14 points in the first while Toronto posted 31.

By all accounts, this game was well beyond reach in just the first half, but the Knicks held Toronto to just 19 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Their resilience still wasn’t enough to record a victory, shooting an awful 26.5% from three-point range and 35.8% from the field.

Overall, this was another inconsistent offensive performance for New York, gaining just one point from Alec Burks over 37 minutes, as the starting guard shot 0 for 7 from the field and 0 for 3 from three-point range.

In fact, only two starters recorded double-digit points, including Julius Randle with 13 and RJ Barrett with 19. The entire Toronto starting five scored double-digit points, including 24 from Gary Trent Jr. and 17 from Fred VanVleet. VanVleet posted 11 assists in the game, acting as a primary facilitator, while Scottie Barnes and Pablo Siakam combined for 27 rebounds.

The Knicks, on the other end, relied on Julius Randle and Obi Toppin as their primary rebounders, combining for 24. Toppin enjoyed a career night, posting 19 points over 24 minutes. The transition game with Toppin was lucrative, especially with his draft buddy, Immanuel Quickley taking the ball down and giving Obi opportunities for electrifying dunks.

The New York Knicks can’t find their shooting from down-town:

However, it was their three-point shooting that doomed them from the beginning, as Evan Fournier posted the best numbers, hitting 3 of 7 shots from deep. Ultimately, the absolute dud from Alec Burks proved to be the difference, representing an anomaly over his past few games.

Burks has scored double-digit points in six consecutive games before Friday night’s loss to Toronto. He’s still shooting 42.5% from three-point range this season, so he should bounce back in the short term.

Nonetheless, this was a winnable game for New York against Toronto, especially holding their opponents to just 90 points. Tom Thibodeau will be disappointed about this loss, as the Knicks have now dropped five of their last six games. They have a tough matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks coming up on Sunday afternoon, who are currently on an impressive winning streak.

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