New York Knicks v Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were unable to complete the comeback, as the Knicks finally took down Toronto this season and clinched a playoff spot in the process.

Here are some quick thoughts on the game…

Knicks 99, Raptors 94

- The Raptors trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and clawed all the way back to within two with 5:56 remaining in the fourth, but whether it was a Knicks’ three at the end of a shotclock or a failed boxout for Toronto, it seemed there was always something holding the Raptors back from getting over the hump.

- Alan Anderson enjoyed the game of his life in this one, going off for a career-high 35 points on 11-of-18 shooting, which included a truly memorable third quarter of trading big buckets with Carmelo Anthony.

- Speaking of ‘Melo, while Anthony had himself his own big night (37 points), it took him 31 shots to get there and for the third time this season, Landry Fields’ defence gave him plenty of trouble. Fields was playing Anthony well through three quarters, so I don’t know why Anderson was suddenly guarding Carmelo in the fourth with Landry on the floor.

- Rudy Gay, who’s been having back issues for weeks now, left the game in the second quarter after jamming his back and did not return. He also won’t be making the trip to New York for Saturday’s conclusion of this home and home, and with the Raptors basically just playing out the string, you have to wonder if Gay will be a candidate to be shut down early as March turns to April. It happens often enough with veterans that have nagging injuries on non-playoff teams.

- If Gay does miss time, one of the guys who stands to gain more playing time is rookie Terrence Ross. After a nice stretch of four games where Ross earned minutes by averaging 12 points on over 50 per cent shooting, the rook has hit another mini rut by scoring just nine points total over his last 36 minutes of action in the last two games, shooting 4-of-15 in the process, including 0-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.

- Jonas Valanciunas’ numbers were solid again tonight (10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 7 rebounds), but I didn’t like the fact that 35-year-old Kenyon Martin went off for 19 points (on 9-of-10 shooting) and 11 rebounds. Credit K-Mart for his performance, but Valanciunas and Amir Johnson, who had an uncharacteristically quiet game, didn’t do a good enough job of putting a body on the veteran and boxing him out.

- Kyle Lowry had 10 assists, just two turnovers, was one of only three Raptors to finish with a positive +/- and only attempted eight shots, but it was not one of Lowry’s best performances, as the Toronto point guard made some questionable decisions on the floor, specifically with respect to when to take some of those shots.

- The fact that it was a sellout crowd doesn’t say much considering that the majority of tickets were sold before paying fans knew that a late March game would be meaningless for the hometown team, but it was great to see the fans in attendance actually get into the game despite the record. There was a buzz in the arena from the starting lineup intros that remained pretty consistent throughout.

Raptors Player Of the Game: Alan Anderson – 35 Pts, 11/18 FG, 6/11 3PT, 7/8 FT, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 3 TO in 36:26

Knicks Player Of the Game: Carmelo Anthony – 37 Pts, 14/31 FG, 2/8 3PT, 7/11 FT, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk, 7 TO in 43:04