NEW YORK (AP) — Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan each scored 21 points, and the Toronto Raptors held onto a big lead this time, beating the New York Knicks 90-85 on Monday night.
Jose Calderon added nine points and 12 assists for the Raptors, who blew a 16-point lead Sunday in Orlando before losing 102-96. They opened a 17-point advantage at halftime in this one thanks to the Knicks’ inept second quarter then held on to snap a three-game losing streak.
Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks played their second straight game without Amare Stoudemire, who has a sprained left ankle. But they couldn’t duplicate their impressive play from their victory without him on Saturday in Sacramento, shooting just 36 percent from the field.
Toney Douglas had 22 points for the Knicks, 12 during a third quarter that finally woke them up after a dreadful second period in which they made three baskets.
The Raptors missed a chance to extend a three-point lead in the final 90 seconds when Amir Johnson blew a dunk, and Anthony followed with a drive into the lane to cut it to 84-83 with 1:04 to go. Bargnani answered with a jumper, and after Tyson Chandler’s dunk, Bargnani sank a pair of free throws to keep it at a three-point edge with 17 seconds left.
Anthony missed a 3-point attempt and Anthony Carter, who finished last season with the Knicks, hit two free throws to make it 90-85 with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Stoudemire could return Wednesday against the Bobcats, and Iman Shumpert could return this week, ahead of the two to four week absence that was expected when he sprained a right knee ligament in the Christmas opener.
The Knicks showed how badly they could have used his help in the first half.
New York led 23-22 after one, but then shot 3 of 19 (16 percent) in the second quarter. They heard some boos at Madison Square Garden, where the loudest cheers came when receiver Victor Cruz of the playoff-bound Giants was shown in his courtside seat.
The Knicks didn’t monopolize the ugliness — Toronto’s Jamaal Magloire threw up an airball on a free throw. But Toronto shot 56 percent in the second quarter and ran off seven straight during one Knicks drought to open a 17-point lead before taking a 51-34 advantage into halftime.
DeRozan hit a 3-pointer to open the second-half scoring, but the Knicks surged back behind Douglas, who had a four-point play among his 12 points in the period as New York got within three before Toronto took a 67-58 lead into the final period.
Notes: Stoudemire said the training staff has been “overloading” the ankle with treatment and he could tell there was improvement, but the staff determined after testing Monday morning that he needed a few more days. — Mike Bibby’s technical foul from the game in Sacramento has been rescinded by the NBA.
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