The New York Knicks hosted the Toronto Raptors on Friday, Dec. 27, and that seemed like very bad news for a team with a 4-11 record at home. The other bad news was that Carmelo Anthony (ankle) and Raymond Felton (groin) would not suit up.
New York led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but a dreadful fourth quarter doomed them and the Raptors pounced for a 95-83 victory.
DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 25 points. Jonas Valanciunas scored 16 on 7-of-11 shooting and snatched 18 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. For the Knickerbockers, Andrea Bargnani started hot and finished with 18 points and 12 boards. J.R. Smith was in the giving spirit and tallied 17 points and six assists.
The Knicks fought off a Raptors rally and reached halftime with a 49-40 lead. Bargnani romped through the first half against his former team, but the final 24 minutes were a different story.
Toronto exploited New York's defense and frustrated their offense when it mattered most. The Raptors won the fourth quarter by a staggering 29-12 margin, and they did it on the road no less.
The Knicks fall to 9-20 while the first-place Raptors improve to 12-15 and 8-7 on the road.