NBA Game Summary - New York at Toronto
(Wednesday, April 14th)
Final Score: Toronto 131, New York 113
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - A late slump ultimately was the downfall for the Raptors, who were left out of the playoffs for a second straight season.
Andrea Bargnani scored 24 points and DeMar DeRozan matched that number with a career-best, as Toronto walloped New York, 131-113, but the Raptors were edged out by Chicago for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors (40-42) came into the last night of the regular season needing a win plus a Chicago loss at Charlotte to overtake the Bulls for the eighth spot in the East. The Bulls, who scored a huge 16-point win at Air Canada Centre on Sunday, topped the Bobcats, 98-89, a short time after the Raptors won their final game. That left Chicago a game ahead of Toronto in the East with the Bulls set to play Cleveland in a first-round series.
Toronto held the tiebreaker against the Bulls by winning the season series, but a late five-game losing streak kept the Raptors fighting an uphill battle.
Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh missed the final five games of the season due to a facial fracture, and the Raptors couldn't get over the hump despite winning their final two contests.
"We had a chance to put ourselves in a position to solidify our spot, but we didn't," Raptors guard Jarrett Jack said. "Now it's fresh and it hurts. We just came up short."
Sonny Weems had 18 points, Jose Calderon 15 and Marco Belinelli 14 for Toronto, which shot 65 percent from the field.
Bill Walker posted a career-best 28 points for the Knicks (29-53), who lost four of their final five contests. David Lee added 19 points and 11 rebounds in possibly his final game as a Knick. He's due to become a free agent this summer.
"I'm happy that the season is over," Lee said. "We'll start fresh. I will try to make myself a better player. I still have to work on my jump shot and have to get better defensively. I have a lot of improvements to make, but I think I can be an elite player in this league."
It should be an interesting offseason for New York, considering the crop of free agents due out after this season, including Cleveland superstar LeBron James.
New York lost despite going 15-of-33 from three-point range.
Bargnani had a third of Toronto's points in the opening quarter, helping the hosts to a 33-30 lead after 12 minutes. The Raptors then shot 16-of-23 in the second quarter on the way to a 73-64 advantage at the half. Toronto scored nine in a row early in the second to take control.
Danilo Gallinari, who scored 22 points, hit a shot from beyond the arc to get the Knicks within 90-86 midway through the third quarter. Calderon, though, finished off a 10-0 burst with a three-ball, and the Raptors held a sizeable 105-94 cushion going to the fourth.
Toronto pulled away over the final 12 minutes and was ahead by double-digits in all but one possession of the last quarter.
The Raptors swept the season series against New York for the first time, 4-0, and have won 17 of the last 22 matchups...The Knicks sat swingman Tracy McGrady for the final two games due to a sore left knee...New York is 1-11 in last 12 trips to Air Canada Centre...Walker went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, while Gallinari was 5-of-12.
04/14 23:21:04 ET