|Knicks get Raptors in New York this time|
NEW YORK -- Five days after getting dealt their worst loss of the season by the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks will welcome their northern visitors to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night for a rematch.
Toronto, one of the hottest teams in the NBA with wins in six of seven games, handed New York a sound thrashing last Friday, a 104-87 decision in which the Knicks shot just 33 percent from the field.
The Raptors shot 56.4 percent, with the starting backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each contributing 22 points to lead five players in double figures.
New York had four players score in double digits against the Raptors, but Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. led the team in scoring with 13 points each. For Porzingis, who is averaging better than 27 points for the season, it was one of his worst showings of the year.
"They took it to us pretty good," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "It's an opportunity to come back and do the right things. We're working our game, trying to be consistent with our effort every night, trying to make proper rotations, and if we can duplicate (Monday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers) in terms of that focus, we'll have a chance."
On Monday, the Knicks led by 17 in the third quarter only to watch Los Angeles cut it to two before New York regained its composure with a 17-2 run. Behind Porzingis' 25 points, the Knicks led by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter before going on to deal the Clippers their ninth straight loss, 107-85.
New York recorded its sixth home win of the month, as the Knicks (9-7) are using a scheduling irregularity to their advantage. New York plays 11 of its 15 November games at home.
Toronto has not had the Knicks' early-season good fortune in terms of scheduling, playing nine of its first 16 on the road before the Wednesday rematch that kicks off yet another three-game road trip.
Hornacek said his team wasn't necessarily looking forward to a quick rematch against a squad that handled the Knicks so easily.
"That doesn't really matter," Hornacek said. "We'll look at the tape and see where we can get better from that game."
The Raptors are coming off a 100-91 win over the John Wall-less Washington Wizards on Sunday, a victory, albeit a sloppy one. Toronto shot just 25.6 percent from 3-point range and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line against the Wizards, though DeRozan did have his fourth 30-plus effort, scoring 33.
"You're going to have nights where some of them look ugly and you're going to have to win ugly," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "That's where DeMar's game comes in. I thought he did an excellent job of attacking and picking his spots."
DeRozan believes the Raptors (11-5) are finding their groove. Toronto trails only the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.
"We're figuring it out," DeRozan said. "That's the beauty of it, the comfort of it. We're getting more and more comfortable with it. We're nowhere close to satisfied."