Knicks-Raptors Preview

BY foxsports • January 28, 2016

The Toronto Raptors might have to chase history without their top playmaker, while the New York Knicks will have to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season without their biggest star.

Carmelo Anthony is out and Kyle Lowry is uncertain as the Raptors go after a franchise-record 10th consecutive victory Thursday night against the visiting Knicks, who have dropped three in a row.

Lowry starred with 29 points and five 3-pointers Tuesday when Toronto matched its longest winning streak with a 106-89 victory over Washington.

After equaling that milestone, the Raptors turned their focus to the health of their All-Star point guard, who had been rushed to the locker room with 3:42 left with what he believed was a serious wrist injury.

Postgame X-rays were negative, but Lowry is questionable after sitting out Wednesday's practice because of soreness. He hasn't missed a game this season and the team was 6-6 without him in 2014-15.

"I really thought it was worse than it was, but I'm fine," Lowry said.

The Raptors were a plus-15 with Cory Joseph on the floor against the Wizards. Joseph, who had 10 points, will likely start if Lowry is sidelined.

DeMar DeRozan, who averages a team-high 23.0 points, had 17 and Terrence Ross stayed hot off the bench with 15. Ross has scored 14.4 per game while making 16 of 27 from 3-point range in his last five.

Toronto (30-15) is playing well on both ends as it tries to eclipse a franchise-record streak set March 22-April 3, 2002. The Raptors have averaged 108.6 points and shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range in their last seven games while limiting opponents to 88.0 and 27.6 marks in the past three.

"Right now we're too focused on our next opponent, which is the New York Knicks," Lowry told the team's official website. "It's time to get focused for them. We're just taking it game by game, day by day."

The Raptors struggled to contain Anthony and the Knicks (22-25) on Nov. 10 in the first meeting at Air Canada Centre. Anthony had 25 points and New York went 11 for 23 from 3-point range in a 111-109 victory.

The All-Star forward has averaged 30.6 points in his last seven matchups with Toronto, but will miss a second straight game due to a sore left knee.

The Knicks fell to 0-5 without him with Tuesday's 128-122 overtime home loss to Oklahoma City. Langston Galloway had 21 points and Derrick Williams added 19. Arron Afflalo scored 17 but shot 6 for 21, with the potential winner going in and out before the regulation buzzer.

"From this point forward, it's about at least giving that energy so that if we do lose a game, we know that we gave it everything," Afflalo said.

New York looks to tighten things up as it tries to avoid its fourth four-game losing streak. It has given up 111.5 points per game and a 42.2 3-point percentage in its last eight, though that does include four overtime games.

Lowry and DeRozan scored a combined 52 points in the November meeting. Lowry has averaged 24.2 points while sinking 16 of 35 (45.7 percent) from beyond the arc in his last six games in this series.

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