NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 2nd (All times eastern)
Toronto Raptors (1-3) at New York Knicks (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden tonight in search of their fifth consecutive win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks finished a three-game California road trip by salvaging the finale Saturday in Sacramento. Carmelo Anthony had 23 points in that one and was one of six Knicks in double-figures as New York dismantled the Kings, 114-92, despite playing without All-Star Amare Stoudemire, who was out of the lineup with a sprained left ankle.
Tyson Chandler finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks and Landry Fields added 21 points and five rebounds for New York, which had lost to the Warriors and Lakers on their trek.
Rookie Josh Harrellson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in his first career NBA start in place of Stoudemire while Toney Douglas had 17 points and eight assists.
"For me it was a must win," Anthony said about the game. "I was preaching that to the team when we got here before the game."
Stoudemire, who averaged 26.8 points and 11.5 rebounds against the Raptors in 2010-11, is listed as day-to-day and the Knicks hope to have him back tonight.
The Raptors, meanwhile, have dropped three straight since taking their season opener at Cleveland. The latest setback came in Orlando on Sunday during the second leg of a three-game road trip. Hedo Turkoglu scored 10 of his 15 points in the final stanza of that one as the Magic overcame a 13-point, fourth- quarter deficit to take down Toronto, 102-96.
Andrea Bargnani had 28 points and seven rebounds, while Jose Calderon added 18 points and 13 assists for the Raptors.
"We are doing some good things, but we have to be able to finish it out," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "When a veteran comes and closes the door like Orlando did tonight, we've got to turn around, hold the lead, and not let a team take a run on us the way they did."
Bargnani, who had a career-high 41 points in a 113-110 loss at MSG last December, is especially hot lately, averaging 26.3 points in his last three games.
01/02 10:39:03 ET