Raptors 131, Knicks 113
They went out with a win, but it wasn’t enough to keep the
Toronto Raptors from sliding out of the NBA playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 24 points and the Raptors
beat the New York Knicks 131-113 on Wednesday night, a victory that
became meaningless when Chicago won at Charlotte to clinch the
final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
“We did what we were supposed to do and we didn’t get any
help,” Raptors coach Jay Triano said.
Andrea Bargnani also scored 24 for the Raptors, who finished
40-42, a game behind the Bulls. Toronto owned the tiebreaker and
would have earned the No. 8 seed had the teams finished with the
“It hurts,” Toronto guard Jarrett Jack said. “There’s really
no other way to put it. We had opportunities, we controlled our
destiny as far as the postseason was concerned, and we let that
slip through our fingers.”
Amir Johnson scored 21 points, Sonny Weems had 18, Jose Calderon
had 15 and Marco Belinelli 14 for the Raptors. Toronto’s 131 points
were a season high.
Toronto’s coaches and players looked in on the Bulls game at
halftime but found the Bobcats trailing by 14.
“You could see that Charlotte was playing restricted minutes
for most of their guys,” Triano said. “You kind of knew it wasn’t
going to get too much closer.”
Just over a minute remained in that game by the time the Raptors
finished off the Knicks and returned to their locker room, but the
Bulls still led by double digits.
“It’s very disappointing,” DeRozan said. “We laid everything
on the line. You can’t take away from Chicago. They did the same
thing and they got the better end of the stick.”
Toronto was 29-23 and fifth in the East after beating
Philadelphia on Feb. 10. But the Raptors lost 11 of 15 following
the All-Star break, losing Chris Bosh for seven games when he
sprained his left ankle.
Another five-game skid late in the season, one that ended with a
104-88 home loss to the Bulls on Sunday, all but sealed Toronto’s
“You can’t be complacent,” Jack said. “We kind of got
comfortable a little bit in our position and in this league you
can’t do that. There’s always another team that’s gaining ground.
You’ve got to understand that teams typically play their best
basketball right after the All-Star break and they’re going to make
a run. That’s pretty much what happened.”
Bill Walker scored a career-high 28 points and Danilo Gallinari
added 22 as the Knicks wrapped up their third straight 50-loss
season and their sixth year in a row without a postseason
“I’m relieved to have the season over,” New York’s David Lee
said. “We’ve known for a little while that we’re not going to make
the playoffs. We tried to finish out the right way but today was
not our best effort, especially defensively.”
Lee had 19 points and 11 rebounds in what could be his final
game with New York. The Knicks plan to be active in free agency,
and it’s not known if retaining Lee is a priority since the team
will be able to afford two top-level players.
“It’s going to be a very interesting offseason in the whole
NBA, not just in New York,” Lee said. “A lot of teams have cap
space and a lot of teams are looking to make changes.”
The Knicks, for some time now, have targeted this summer as an
opportunity to spend big in an effort to revive the team.
“That’s what it’s kind of set up for and that’s what we’re
looking for,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “If it works, we’ll be
the happiest people in the world. If not, then c’est la vie and we
have to do what we can do.”
Bosh took a seat on the Toronto bench midway through the opening
quarter, his first appearance since suffering two facial fractures
in an April 6 game at Cleveland and undergoing nasal surgery. Asked
about Bosh’s status before the game, Triano said, “I don’t think
there’s anything in the next week for him.”
Bosh was not on Toronto’s bench in the third quarter, but
returned for the fourth. It could have been his last time on the
Raptors’ side, since he can become one of the most attractive free
agents available in July.
Jack, who played with Bosh at Georgia Tech, said the two will
likely sit down soon to discuss the future.
“We’ll go back and forth and I’m sure we’re going to discuss
the pros and cons of staying and leaving,” Jack said. “I’m going
to let him know that if he wants to come back, we’ll definitely
accept him with open arms.”
Toronto led 29-19 with 2:41 left in the first, but Walker and
Gallinari each made 3-pointers as the Knicks cut it to 33-30 after
The Raptors opened the second with an 11-4 run, pushing their
lead back to 10 points at 44-34 and forcing the Knicks to call
timeout. Johnson scored 11 in the second as Toronto maintained a
double digit edge for much of the quarter, but a 3-pointer by Toney
Douglas made it 73-64 at the half.
DeRozan scored 11 points in the third and Calderon added nine as
the Raptors took a 105-94 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: DeRozan matched his career high with nine rebounds. …
Weems started for Toronto despite leaving Monday’s win at Detroit
with a sore right ankle. … The Knicks shot 15 for 33 from 3-point