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

hurt.”

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

of 11.

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

2004 playoffs.

”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

long.

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

dribbling.

”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.