Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 2/20

Game 1: Friday, February 20th
Game 2: Sunday, February 22nd
Game 3: Saturday, April 4th
Game 4: Sunday, April 5th

Raptors 97

(21-36, 11-20 away)

Knicks 127

(23-31, 16-12 home)

    Coverage: TSNT

    7:30 PM ET, February 20, 2009

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 22 28 25 2297
    NY 42 33 26 26127

    Top Performers

    Tor: A. Bargnani 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    NY: D. Lee 24 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast

    Knicks' 42-point first quarter signals easy victory over Raptors

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks showed their two new acquisitions just how much fun playing for them can be.

    Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 32 points, Nate Robinson added 26, and the Knicks matched their victory total from last season with a 127-97 rout of the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

    Fast Facts

    • The Knicks equaled last season's win total with their 23rd victory.

    • David Lee has reached double-figures in points and rebounds in 18 consecutive games, the third-longest streak of double-doubles in Knicks' franchise history.

    • The Raptors last 28 losses were by an average of 12.6 points.

    • New York has scored more than 120 points in 10 games this season.

    -- ESPN research

    David Lee had 16 of his 24 in the Knicks' 42-point first quarter that signaled an early end to this one. New York led by 38 and rolled to its easiest victory of the season in the opener of a home-and- home series.

    "We had four or five guys just on fire," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It does make it tough for the other team."

    New York can better last season's 23-59 mark under Isiah Thomas with a victory Sunday afternoon in Toronto, when newcomers Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox could make their Knicks debuts.

    "I think if we keep playing like that, it will be great in a playoff run," Wilcox said. "They go out there and have fun and I'm all about that."

    Al Harrington finished with 20 points. Lee also grabbed 15 rebounds in his 18th straight double-double and 43rd this season, while Robinson fell just shy of his fourth straight 30-point game.

    "The funnest basketball I've played in my career, I can say that," Robinson said. "So hopefully the sky's the limit."

    Joey Graham scored 19 points, Andrea Bargnani had 18 and Shawn Marion had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors. Chris Bosh shot just 4-of-13 and scored 12 points after missing the previous five games with a sprained right knee.

    "You've got to keep playing, keep chipping away whether it's two points or 20 points," Bosh said. "We showed no confidence, no pride tonight on the court."

    The Knicks scored the first nine points and raced to a 42-22 lead after one quarter. They hit 16 of 22 shots (73 percent), the final one when Robinson drilled a 3-pointer while falling down just in front of the New York bench and then reached up to slap hands with D'Antoni while lying on his back.

    The lead ballooned to 30 when Harrington's 3-pointer made it 75-45 with 1:14 left, giving the Knicks time to break the Madison Square Garden record of 82 points in a first half they set earlier this season against Golden State. But they didn't score again and settled for a 75-50 lead at the break.

    "They were in one of those modes where everything they shot was going in early in the game," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "We just dug ourselves a big hole."

    The biggest lead was 98-60 on Harrington's 3-pointer with 4:27 left in the third and New York hit the century mark soon after on Danilo Gallinari's 3.

    Before the game, the Knicks introduced Hughes and Wilcox, acquired in separate deals before Thursday's deadline. Wilcox was in uniform, but D'Antoni decided not to use him after Wilcox had a long travel week. Hughes hadn't yet been cleared to play.

    Both will have to get back into playing shape to keep pace in D'Antoni's uptempo system. Hughes hasn't played since Jan. 12 after falling out of favor in Chicago, while Wilcox was on the court for just 21 1/2 minutes in eight games this month for Oklahoma City.

    "I'm in good shape as far as being fit, but basketball shape, I haven't played in a month, so it's definitely going to take some getting out there and running up and down and playing some defense to get in basketball shape," Hughes said before the game. "I stay in pretty good shape, so that shouldn't be much of a problem."

    The best deals for the Knicks might have been the ones they didn't make. Lee and Robinson were considered candidates to be moved because both will be restricted free agents this summer, and the Knicks may not want to give them the big raises they could demand so they can save money for the free agent summer of 2010. Both are playing too well to give up now, coming into the game averaging 16.4 points apiece.

    Game notes

    With Italians Bargnani and Gallinari in the game, the Knicks celebrated Italian heritage night, featuring music and even the starting lineups announced in Italian. The game was being televised in Italy live on Sky Sports. Though it started past midnight in Italy, D'Antoni, who played and coached there, said the fans would have no trouble staying up late to watch. "They're just getting through the second bottle of wine," he said. "They'll be fine." ... Banished Knicks guard Stephon Marbury, still hoping for a buyout so he can go play elsewhere, turned 32.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 127
    FGM-FGA 38-93 (.409) 46-93 (.495)
    3PM-3PA 5-17 (.294) 17-39 (.436)
    FTM-FTA 16-22 (.727) 18-19 (.947)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-45 9-51
    Assists 23 27
    Turnovers 12 10
    Steals 4 2
    Blocks 8 1
    Fast Break Points 18 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 38

    Top Performers

    New York
    Andrea Bargnani Bargnani
    Points: 18
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4
    David Lee Lee
    Points: 24
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0