Riding a 6 game road win streak, the Knicks faced off against the Raptors in Toronto. New York got off to a hot start, erupting for 33 points in the first quarter. They pushed the pace with Felton at the helm, recording 9 assists in the quarter. Chandler led all scorers with 12 first-quarter points, while Felton and Fields contributed 7 apiece. The Knicks hit 4 of 11 from 3-point range as well.
In the second, with Amar’e on the bench, the Raptors gained some ground. Leandro Barbosa served as the facilitator, while Jerryd Bayless was feeling it from outside and scored 11 in the quarter. Amar’e returned to the game, reaching double-double figures before the end of the half, and the Knicks went into halftime up by 10 points.
The third quarter belonged to the Raptors Amir Johnson, who put up 10 points and grabbed 8 boards, along with an ESPN Top Plays put-back dunk. With the crowd fired up and Bayless continuing to shoot well, the home team cut the lead to 7 by the end of the third. Amar’e scored consecutive baskets and Shawne Williams hit a three followed by a tip-in to start the fourth. Fortunately the Knicks scored rampantly as they poured in 34 in the final frame, crushing the Raptors by 17.
It was a solid showing from the Knicks on the road as they continue to win games that they are expected to. Amar’e continued his stellar play with 31 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, 5 of them on the offensive end. Rookie Landry Fields also recorded a double-double and Shawne Williams impressed off the bench, hitting 4-4 from beyond the arc and scoring 14 in just 21 minutes.
The shorter rotation seems to be working for D’Antoni. I expect Douglas, Williams, and Mozgov to get the bulk of the minutes off the bench in the near future after the early-season uninspiring play from Anthony Randolph and Bill Walker. Gallinari continues to struggle with his shot, but is finding other ways to help the team. He grabbed 4 boards and dished 5 assists. In 40 minutes of action, though, he needs to find a way to score more than 6 points.
Other positives include the Knicks shooting 86% from the stripe and 44% from downtown. The only negatives were being outrebounded and finishing with only two blocks while leading the league in swats per game. No one should be complaining, though, as New York matched its longest road winning streak since the 1994-95 season. It has been a long time since the Knicks have had streaks of dominance like this, and the fans are hungry to see just how far they can roll.