After an epic match, Toronto stops the Knicks’ good series

On this Monday dedicated to the commemoration of the memory of Martin Luther King in the NBA, the Knicks and the Raptors delivered an epic spectacle on the boards of Madison Square Garden, to make the aces of Broadway entertainment blush.

Indeed, after a gripping and tense regulation time (only four changes of leader in the score), during which the locals took up to 10 points in advance before being caught in the fourth quarter, the squad coming from the North snatched the victory, his fourth in five games, in the dying seconds of overtime, after a winning shot from the winner missed by Jalen Brunson.

A few minutes earlier, as the end of regulation time approached, the two teams missed precious free throws (7 failures on each side over the whole match), to pick up the score for the Knicks and to secure the victory for the Raptors, providing a finish completely crazy. Punctuated by a huge poster of RJ Barrett on Scottie Barnes (with a probable uncalled foul on the Canadian’s arm) to send everyone into overtime at 110-110, after the Toronto winger missed a shot on the preparation line that would have given the team a 3-point lead. his team.

During the five additional minutes of play, it is OG Anunobyyet silent throughout regulation time, who donned the hero’s cape by scoring two award-winning shots, one in each corner. Exhausted by a tight rotation, the holders of the Knicks lacked the juice to conclude in the final moments, like this too short « game-winner » attempt by the leader of New York.

Despite the loss, only the second in eight games since the start of the new year, the Knicks remain in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, which must certainly make the result a little less bitter. For the Raptors, on the other hand, the stakes are much higher since the teammates of Fred VanVleet won a 20th success and thus returned to the level of the Bulls, 10th in the conference with the same record (20-24).


The special Fred VanVleet. Like many major players in the league, the Raptors point guard, each season, tends to release one of his very best performances of the year when he is under the lights of the mythical « MSG ». This was again the case last night, when « FVV », yet (very) far from playing his best basketball this season, did great damage against the New Yorkers: 33 points and 8 assists! Including a 4/5 on shots and precious free throws in the last act, to fuel his team’s comeback.

The Knicks, one fumbled offensive rebound and two missed free throws. With hindsight, this is indeed how we could sum up this very short defeat of the Knicks, who certainly failed on a missed shot by Jalen Brunson at the siren, but more broadly on small details. Including a missed offensive rebound and captured by Scottie Barnes in the last minute of regulation time, while the Knicks led 108-107 and could close the game on the next possession and avoid overtime. Really regrettable for the band of Tom Thibodeau, who over the whole meeting won the battle for the offensive rebound (20 to 14). There were also two oh so important and yet missed free throws, one by Julius Randle and one by Jalen Brunson, in the “money-time”. Without those two misses, the Knicks were two possessions up in the final minute and likely survived that. thriller without going through the extension box…


RJ Barrett. XXL match for the Canadian winger, only the fourth since his return from injury. With 32 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, he regained his momentum of the month of December and breathed good energy into his team on both sides of the pitch. We especially remember his 10/11 on free throws symbol of an aggressiveness towards the circle at all times to compensate for a more hazardous outside address (2/9), and of course his huge dunk on the muzzle of Scottie Barnes in the last second of regulation time, to send the game into overtime.

✅⛔️ Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. Good statistical production for the two usual leaders of the Knicks, but an efficiency that left something to be desired, especially for the first: 26 points at 11/29 on shots and 4 ball losses. A forgivable slack when you know his level of play this season, and also taking into account the fact that Tom Thibodeau only gave him 11 minutes of rest on the bench in 48 hours: 42 minutes of play against Washington the day before , then 43 against Toronto… The second was more impactful, failing just two assists from a triple-double, with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. The black point of his performance was above all the waste on shots: 7/20, including 1/6 behind the arc and 6/9 on free throws… For him too, a less good shot is largely forgivable, the second night of a « back-to-back », while the Knicks ultimately lost only two small points.

Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. The two wingers from Toronto were everywhere, compiling 46 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists to supply, in relay of Fred VanVleet, the attack of the Raptors. The first, even if he left definitively after having received a sixth foul in overtime, notably defended quite well against Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. The second was more offensive and aggressive, and we saw him in particular put on decisive free throws in the “money-time” (9/13 on the match) with full composure.

✅⛔️ OG Anunoby. Anecdotally during regulation time, in particular because of too many fouls, the British winger did not lose confidence and did not tremble, in extra time, when he scored two huge award-winning shots to provide a comfortable mattress (and ultimately decisive) to his team. He woke up very late, but better late than never, as they say.


Knicks (25-20): reception of the Wizards, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday (01:30).

Raptors (20-24): “back-to-back”, in Milwaukee (01:30).

New York / 121ShotsBounces
PlayersMinimumShots3 pointsLFODTpdpartyIntbpCT+/-PointsRating
Mr Robinson375/80/01/253822011-71117
J Brunson4311/292/62/443725041+22612
R. Barrett4910/232/910/1116724030-53224
Q. Grimes403/52/42/234723101+31019
O. Toppin112/41/10/002202100-356
Mr McBride60/20/10/020202000-800
I. Quickley213/71/47/701105001+51412
Toronto / 123ShotsBounces
PlayersMinimumShots3 pointsLFODTpdpartyIntbpCT+/-PointsRating
P. Siakam467/190/76/726896013+92026
OG Anunoby403/102/72/223535312-11015
S. Barnes458/161/29/1361743132+82625
G.Trent Jr.426/144/82/305522101+41818
C. Boucher182/51/33/421310102-8811
J. Hernangomez70/20/10/001101000+50-1
Mr. Flynn30/10/10/000000000-20-1

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