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(Friday, December 27th)
Final Score: Toronto 95, New York 83
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMar DeRozan poured in a game-high 25 points as the Toronto Raptors downed the New York Knicks, 95-83, at Madison Square Garden in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and 18 rebounds and Kyle Lowry netted 15 points while handing out 11 assists for the Raptors, winners in three of their last four games.
"I think tonight our defense really created a lot of offense for us. We got a chance to get out and run and make some decisions out in the open floor," said Lowry.
Andrea Bargnani scored a team-high 18 points and pulled 12 rebounds against his former club. Toronto selected the Italian big man with the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft before shipping him to the Big Apple in exchange for Marcus Camby and Steve Novak.
Camby in no longer on Toronto's roster and Novak did not appear in the game.
J.R. Smith poured in 17 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists and Beno Udrih netted 15 points to go with 10 assists for the Knicks, who have dropped three of their last four games.
"We have almost play a perfect game until we're whole again," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
Carmelo Anthony missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle.
The Knicks led by 12, 61-49, after Hardaway canned a trey at the 7:17 mark of the third. Toronto, though, used a 17-8 swing to pull within 69-66 and New York owned a 71-66 lead entering the final frame.
The Raptors opened the fourth on a 15-4 run to go up 81-75 and never looked back as New York managed just four points over the final 5:25.
The Knicks led 25-18 after the first period. Toronto managed to take a 37-36 lead after a Terrence Ross trey, but the hosts closed the frame on a 13-3 run to take a 49-40 lead into the break.
Ross and John Salmons finished with 11 points apiece in the win ... The Raptors won the battle of the boards by a 50-42 margin ... Bargnani will return to the Air Canada Centre on Saturday for the first time since he was traded this summer.
12/28 01:36:27 ET