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Toronto thumps New York to sweep home-and-home
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Lowry donated his second straight double-double as the Toronto Raptor rolled to a 115-100 victory over the New York Knicks to take both games of a home-and-home.
Lowry followed his 15-point, 11-assist performance in a win at Madison Square Garden on Friday with a season-high 32 points, 11 helpers and eight rebounds. Lowry has at least six assists in 20 straight games.
"He (Lowry) just makes it easier for all of us," said Terrence Ross. "He can pass the ball, he can play defense. He did everything for us tonight."
Ross made a career-best seven triples and scored 23 points for the Raptors, who have won six of eight overall. DeMar DeRozan added 20 while Jonas Valanciunas grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Amar'e Stoudemire paced New York with 23 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Tyson Chandler netted 16 and J.R. Smith totaled 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Knicks dropped their fourth game in their last five.
"We've got to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves whether we're giving a good enough effort to win," said Stoudemire.
Carmelo Anthony missed his third straight tilt with a sprained ankle. The Knicks' leading scorer is expected to join the team after the New Year in San Antonio.
Toronto led 26-22 after a first quarter that featured nine lead changes and six ties.
Toure Murry scored six points during a 9-0 Knicks burst midway through the second period, but it was all Toronto after that. Amir Johnson halted the rally with a tip-in to tie the score at 34 apiece. Johnson's bucket ignited a 15-2 Toronto surge.
The Raptors went into the locker rooms leading 57-44.
Former Raptor Andrea Bargnani made a pair at the foul line 2:23 into the second half to cut New York's deficit to eight, but just over four minutes after Bargnani's free throws, DeRozan's driving layup had the hosts on top, 78-57.
The Knicks had one final rally in them, pulling to within 101-95 after a Chandler alley-oop with 3:25 to play. On the ensuing Toronto touch, Murry was called for a flagrant-1 foul on Lowry, who canned two foul shots and a trey to re-open an 11-point edge.
Toronto improved to 7-3 since trading Rudy Gay to Sacramento on Dec. 8 ... Murry notched career-highs with 11 points and six assists ... The Knicks shot just 7-of-21 from the arc ... Toronto won the rebounding margin 45-37 ... Both teams had 23 assists ... Johnson had all four Toronto blocked shots.
12/28 22:22:43 ET
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