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Raptors go for home-and-home sweep of Knicks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors shoot for a home-and-home sweep of the slumping New York Knicks when the Atlantic Division rivals square off Saturday at Air Canada Centre.
In Friday's opener of this quick set from Madison Square Garden, DeMar DeRozan pumped in 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting and Jonas Valanciunas added a double- double with 16 points and 18 rebounds.
Kyle Lowry ended with 15 points and 11 assists for the Raptors, who have won five of their last seven games and went 3-1 on their road trip.
"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.
The Raptors are 4-8 at home and first in the Atlantic, four games ahead of the Knicks. After hosting New York, the Raptors will visit Chicago on Tuesday.
New York shot just 38 percent for the game, but had four players with 15 or more points. Former Raptor Andrea Bargnani picked up the scoring in Carmelo Anthony's absence and posted 18 points with 12 rebounds. Bargnani was traded to the Knicks in the offseason for Marcus Camby and Steve Novak.
Bargnani played seven seasons with Toronto and was selected first overall by the Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft.
J.R. Smith scored 17 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists, while Beno Udrih netted 15 points and handed out 10 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. also scored 15 points for the Knicks, who have dropped four of the last six games.
"We have almost play a perfect game until we're whole again," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
Anthony missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle and point guard Raymond Felton is out with a groin strain.
The Knicks have won two in a row on the road, are 5-8 outside of MSG and will start a four-game trek Saturday against Toronto, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
New York and Toronto split four games last season. The Knicks have dropped 13 of the past 18 games north of the border.
12/28 10:57:05 ET
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