Regular Season Series (Game 3 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 102

(30-45, 13-25 away)

Knicks 95

(29-47, 19-20 home)

    Coverage: CBC

    1:00 PM ET, April 4, 2009

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 23 25 29 25102
    NY 30 20 23 2295

    Top Performers

    Toronto: A. Bargnani 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    New York: C. Duhon 22 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Bargnani, Bosh, Marion pitch in to dump Knicks, win sixth in row 

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK -- There is always some team that based on its late-season surge might have been a dangerous playoff underdog, if only it had qualified.

    This year's version could be the Toronto Raptors, whose best basketball in a couple of years is probably a case of too little, too late.

    Fast Facts

    • Toronto has won a season-high six games after the seven-point win over the Knicks and two straight road games after losing the previous six.

    • Andre Bargnani led the Raptors with 23 points. Chris Bosh and Shawn Marion grabbed 13 rebounds a piece. Bosh added 17 points and has six straight double-doubles.

    • The Knicks have lost four straight and 10 of 11 and were eliminated from playoff contention.
    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points, Chris Bosh had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Raptors extended their winning streak to six with a 102-95 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday.

    Shawn Marion added 12 points and 13 boards for the Raptors, who stayed alive for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Toronto would have been eliminated with a loss and a victory by Chicago.

    "We keep playing. We don't pay attention to the standings," Bosh said. "We just try to win the next game and they say we're not eliminated yet, so until that day we have to prepare the right way for every game."

    Instead, the Raptors eliminated the Knicks, who haven't made the postseason since 2004. First-year coach Mike D'Antoni repeatedly said he thought New York could end its drought this season.

    "I don't know, I was pretty disappointed that we didn't do it to be honest with you," D'Antoni said. "I just thought too many games would come down to where we could take control of it, 15 or 16 games less than five points, and we just never came up with the big play or the big stops and tonight was just another night."

    Jose Calderon scored 15 points for Toronto, on its longest winning streak since its Atlantic Division championship team won six in a row in April 2007. The Raptors broke open a tight game by holding the Knicks to two field goals in the first 6-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, then held on behind their excellent foul shooting.

    Widely expected to be a playoff team this season, the Raptors got off to a dismal start, costing coach Sam Mitchell his job when the Bosh-Jermaine O'Neal inside tandem struggled. Marion has been a better fit since the Raptors acquired him from Miami for O'Neal, with Bargnani moving to the middle.

    "There's nothing you can do about yesterday and times past," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "I mean we've been frustrated throughout the year, but we're not right now. We've just got to keep playing and try to win as many games as we can."

    Al Harrington and Chris Duhon each scored 22 points for the Knicks, who tumbled out of playoff contention with a disappointing finish to D'Antoni's first season. New York has lost four straight and 10 of its last 11 games.

    "Once you get a feel of being in the playoffs and playing in the playoff games, that's a feeling that you strive to continue to have," said Duhon, who played in the postseason with Chicago. "I just think these guys deserve it. They need to deserve to understand the different level. You've got to play a different way, so the intensity is higher. It's a lot of fun playing in the playoffs."

    The teams meet again Sunday night to complete a home-and-home series.

    Quentin Richardson made the first basket of the fourth quarter to bring New York within two points, but Toronto scored nine straight to open an 86-75 lead on Bosh's jumper with 8:52 to play. A bucket by Chris Wilcox ended the Knicks' drought of about 3 1/2 minutes before consecutive field goals by Joey Graham and Jason Kapono stretched the lead to 90-77.

    New York cut it to four, but Marion's follow and a three-point play by Anthony Parker restored a comfortable cushion at 99-90 with 1:41 left. Toronto then hit its free throws, finishing 17-of-20 from the line.

    The Knicks scored the last six points of the first quarter, taking a 30-23 lead on Wilson Chandler's tip-in as time expired. New York pushed the lead to 12 early in the second, but Toronto battled back to tie it late in the period before the Knicks took a 50-48 edge into halftime.

    Game notes

    The circus is in town, and it caused an inconvenient arrival at Madison Square Garden for the Raptors. They couldn't use their usual entrance into the arena, with police telling them it was blocked off because of the elephants and to come back in an hour. The Raptors found an alternate route, but then couldn't get off the elevator on the floor they wanted because that's where the lions were. ... The teams also played a home-and-home series in February, with each team winning at home. ... The Knicks were without Larry Hughes (strained right ankle) and Eddy Curry. D'Antoni said Saturday that he doesn't see how Curry can return before the season ends on April 15. The 6-11, 300-pound-plus center has had conditioning and knee problems all season and played just 11:46 in three games this season, all during the Knicks' current three-game road trip.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 95
    FGM-FGA 38-95 (.400) 37-82 (.451)
    3PM-3PA 9-24 (.375) 4-18 (.222)
    FTM-FTA 17-20 (.850) 17-22 (.773)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-47 12-44
    Assists 21 19
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 11 8
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 9 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 12

    Top Performers

    New York
    Andrea Bargnani Bargnani
    Points: 23
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4
    Chris Duhon Duhon
    Points: 22
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0