Knicks 110, Raptors 84
Jason Kidd lofted a perfect lob, and just like so many times
before, Kenyon Martin went up high to slam it down.
Even at 40, Kidd is still playing one of the NBA’s most
demanding positions. And Martin, after sitting at home most of the
season, is back to playing above the rim at a time when so many
Knicks big men are sitting down.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points, Martin had another big game
against Toronto, and New York finished off a home-and-home sweep of
the Raptors with a 110-84 victory Saturday night.
J.R. Smith added 25 points for the Knicks, who beat the Raptors
for the second straight night and won their fourth consecutive
game. Martin had 18 points and seven rebounds a night after he had
19 points and 11 rebounds in the Knicks’ victory in Toronto that
clinched a playoff berth.
”He’s doing a little bit of everything for us. Major plus for
our ballclub, I tell you that,” coach Mike Woodson said.
DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points for the Raptors, who played
without leading scorer Rudy Gay because of a bad back and lost
their fourth straight.
”The turnovers was probably the No. 1 aspect of the game the
hurt us. Had 18 with 25 points. That was the most disappointing,
the type of turnovers that we had,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey
said. ”Couldn’t get Carmelo under control. They’re one of the most
lethal 3-point shooting teams. They were getting their rhythm back,
so that caused a problem. I thought the fight was there.”
Kidd had three points, three rebounds and two assists on his
40th birthday. He sees nothing extraordinary about what he’s doing,
seeming far more interested in watching California, his college
team, play than talking about his own game.
”My job is to find the open guys and when I have the
opportunity to take a wide-open 3, take it,” Kidd said. ”But the
game was pretty much under control, so there was no need to look to
score, but just to play defense and make sure nobody got
Knicks rookie Chris Copeland led a rendition of ”Happy
Birthday” before the game for Kidd, but the night belonged to
Martin, Kidd’s teammate in New Jersey long ago who has helped the
Knicks overcome a number of injuries in their frontcourt.
He hadn’t even played in the NBA this season until the Knicks
signed him late last month, but has stepped into the starting
lineup as an undersized center with Tyson Chandler out and shot 7
Anthony scored 11 points in the first quarter, but the Knicks
led only 21-17. They opened it up late in the second aided by
Martin’s energy and ferociousness, starting with a follow dunk in
which he stood screaming behind the basket.
He and Kidd hooked up on an alley-oop dunk, then he and Iman
Shumpert blocked shots on the same possession. Martin then cut
behind the defense and Anthony whipped a pass into him for a basket
while being fouled with 7 seconds left in the half.
Martin made the free throw for a 59-47 lead as fans chanted his
name on the same floor where he was once an enemy when he and Kidd
were leading the Nets to a four-game sweep of the Knicks in the
”It’s amazing that we’re able to hook up back together, you
know what I’m saying?” Martin said. ”Whoever thought that it
would be in a Knick uniform, but I’ll take it.”
Kidd is now a reserve and the Knicks are trying to manage his
minutes before a playoff run. But even in a limited role, he has
made a huge impact on a team that lacked veteran leadership for so
He is second in the NBA’s career list behind John Stockton in
assists and steals, third in 3-pointers made, and fourth in minutes
played. He won a title in Dallas, resurrected a franchise in New
Jersey, and won two Olympic gold medals during an undefeated
international career at the senior level.
But even with all those accomplishments, Kidd’s intelligence
often comes up first among those who marvel at his ability to keep
playing point guard in the NBA at his age.
”He’s brilliant. His mind is brilliant,” Chandler said
recently. ”Hopefully we can freeze it, or something like that.
Leave it for the next generation.”
The Knicks hit 15 of 22 shots (68 percent) in the second quarter
and were never threatened from there.
There were 14 fouls called in the third quarter, including a
fragrant on Anthony when he shoved Landry Fields after his former
Knicks teammate banged his shoulder into Anthony’s midsection while
”It was just a heat of the moment-type thing. Probably a
misunderstanding,” Fields said. ”We were cool after the game.
Just, you know, wished each other well for the rest of the season.
… It was probably just competitive nature.”
The Knicks kept pulling away, going 21 of 23 on free throws and
shooting 52 percent from the field.
NOTES: With Gay missing his third game this month with back
problems, Casey said he assumes the organization will discuss
shutting him down. Gay was getting therapy Saturday, and Casey said
any decision could be based on how he responds to that. ”I would
say that it’s something that will be talked about sooner rather
than later,” Casey said.