Effort Much Better, But The Result The Same — Knicks Drop 4th Straight
TORONTO (AP) — Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn’t mince words when asked what went wrong for his team in the final minute of Friday night’s narrow loss to Toronto.
“I thought our shot selection was awful,” Woodson said.
Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and the Raptors beat New York 100-98, handing the slumping Knicks their season-worst fourth straight defeat.
Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton both missed 3-pointers in the final minute, and Woodson made it clear he would have preferred his players drive the lane instead.
“We didn’t play smart coming down the stretch,” Woodson said. “We had opportunities to take the ball to the rim and make plays, and they were blowing the whistle. I have to think we would have got some calls, but we didn’t. We settled.”
Anthony and Felton both agreed the Knicks had executed poorly, with Anthony suggesting the recent skid was weighing on New York’s mind.
“When you lose games like this it’s easy to start thinking too much, overthinking what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, rather than just going out there and playing basketball,” Anthony said. “I think that’s where we’re at.”
Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, Amir Johnson 12 and John Lucas 10 as the Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games.
Anthony had 32 points and J.R. Smith added 19 for the Knicks, winless since beating Minnesota on Feb. 8.
“We’ve got to get over this hump,” Anthony said. “We’ve hit a bad stretch.”
Brooklyn’s home loss to Houston kept the Knicks one game ahead of the Nets atop the Atlantic Division. Both teams play again at home Sunday night. The Knicks host Philadelphia while the Nets face Memphis.
“We’ve got to go home and try to get off this slide,” Woodson said.
Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points and Felton added 10 for New York, which rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 6:11 left.
Trailing 79-70 to begin the fourth, New York scored nine of the next 11 points. Toronto called a timeout after Stoudemire’s dunk cut it to 81-79 with 9:09 left.
New York kept coming, tying it at 86 on Smith’s 3-pointer with 6:55 left and then taking the lead 45 seconds later when Smith scored on a driving layup.
Gay made two free throws and added a jumper to put Toronto up 93-89 with 3:35 left, but New York tied it again when Anthony hit a pair from the line and Smith followed with a step-back jumper.
Gay and Anthony traded jumpers, keeping it tied, before Lowry hit a driving hook shot over Chandler to put Toronto up 97-95 with 28 seconds remaining.
“He shot a running floater over a 7-foot-1 guy,” Felton said. “That’s a tough shot.”
Lowry fouled Chandler, who missed his first free throw but made the second, cutting it to 97-96 with 21 seconds left.
Chandler fouled out, sending Gay to the line at the other end, where he drained both to put Toronto up 99-96.
Gay was fouled again after grabbing the rebound on Anthony’s missed 3 on the next possession. His first shot rolled out but the second went down, giving the Raptors a 100-96 lead with 6 seconds left.
Anthony made a layup with 3 seconds left, but the Raptors ran out the clock to earn their second win over the Knicks this season. Toronto improved to 3-8 against Atlantic Division opponents.
“That’s what it’s all about, playing in big games like this against a big team,” DeRozan said. “We held our composure.”
Anthony had 13 points but Lowry made four 3-pointers and DeRozan converted a three-point play with a second left to tie the score at 32 after one quarter.
Stoudemire scored six points in the second quarter and Chandler had five rebounds to help the Knicks take a 51-48 lead into halftime.
Held in check in the first half, Gay broke loose for 17 points in the third, connecting on seven of nine field goal attempts. One of his two misses was an off-balance jumper in the final second of the quarter.
“I just wanted to be aggressive,” Gay said. “Until then I was letting the game come to me. The shots started falling, I started going to the basket and I got some foul shots.”
DeRozan added eight points in the third as the Raptors took a nine-point lead into the final quarter.
NOTES: Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas had a game-high 10 rebounds. … Raptors rookie and newly crowned slam dunk champion Terrence Ross did not dress because of flulike symptoms. … Ex-Knick Landry Fields started for the Raptors in place of Johnson. … Toronto F Linas Kleiza denied a report from Lithuania that he is set to retire because of lingering right knee pain. Sidelined since Dec. 28, Kleiza said he hopes to return within a week. … The game was briefly halted when a fan ran onto the court in the fourth quarter.
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