Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks
Records: Raptors (30-14), Knicks (12-33)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, Jan. 24, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SN1 (Canada), MSG or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Winners of five straight, the Toronto Raptors begin a two game road-trip Friday as they take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
In its most recent outing, the Raptors rode the hot hand of Fred VanVleet all the way to a solid 12-point win over the 76ers. VanVleet knocked down five triples in the second half and finished with team-highs in points (22) and assists (8).
NINE THOUGHTS: VanVleet leads Raptors to fifth-straight win
It was a balanced effort, as five other Raptors scored 16 or more points; Pascal Siakam and Powell each finished with 18 points, Marc Gasol scored 17 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting and for good measure, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka each chipped in with 16 points apiece.
These six were the only players to score on the night.
While his streak of consecutive 20-point games came to a close on Wednesday, Norman Powell has been on another level as of late. During the win streak, the fifth-year guard is averaging 23.2 points on .588/.469/.913 shooting splits.
Gasol is also playing some of his best basketball during the win streak, which coincides with his return to the lineup. Gasol is averaging 14.0 points (on 66.7% shooting), 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists over the last five games and continues to play an invaluable role on the defensive end.
With Gasol and Powell setting the tone, the Raptors have been red-hot as a team over the last five games; they've averaged 124.2 points while shooting 51.5% from the field. They've also hit 15.2 triples per game at a 42.2% clip.
This visit to Madison Square Garden could mean more of the same for the Raptors, as the Knicks have the league's 24th-rated defence and allow a league-high 38.6% shooting from beyond the arc.
They're playing slightly better defence as of late, as the Knicks have held their last three opponents to 100 points or less.
Offensively, Marcus Morris Sr. is pacing the Knicks this season with a team-high 19.1 points per game while Julius Randle isn't too far behind with averages of 18.8 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game.
In their last time out - a 100-92 loss to the Lakers - Morris led the way with 20 points while Randle finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Also contributing for the Knicks were Damyean Dotson, who scored 17 points off the bench, Mitchell Robinson, who grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds and Elfrid Payton, who finished with eight points, nine assists and six rebounds.
The Knicks youth movement has been led by Canadian rookie RJ Barrett (Mississauga, ON), who will miss this meeting with his hometown team with a sprained ankle. Reggie Bullock will again likely start in Barrett's absence and is a sharpshooting threat from the wing.
New York will need to keep its defence up and knock plenty of triples down to bring Toronto's hot streak to a halt.
- Dewan Hernandez (ankle) - Out
- Patrick McCaw (nose) - Out
- RJ Barrett (ankle) - Out
- Since the start of the 2015-16 season, the Raptors have won 15-of-17 games against the Knicks, including the last seven meetings.
- With a win Friday, the Raptors would guarantee to end the month of January with a winning record. Toronto has finished with a winning record each of the past 20 calendar months (Feb. 2017 - Dec. 2019). The streak is the longest in franchise history and the longest current streak in the NBA.
- Knicks rookies RJ Barrett (Mississauga, ON) and Ignas Brazdeikis (Oakville, ON), have each spent time playing representing Team Canada at junior levels.
- Kyle Lowry is 17 assists away from passing José Calderón as the Toronto Raptors all-time leader in franchise history.
- Toronto's longest win streak of the season is seven games, set from Nov. 18-Dec. 1. The Raptors next six opponents have records below-.500.
Last Time They Played
Date: Nov. 27, 2019
Score: Toronto Raptors 126, New York Knicks 98
Raptors: Pascal SIakam - 31 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST
Knicks: Julius Randle - 19 PTS, 8 REB