Basket NBA

Toronto Raptors get physical as New York downed

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as a physical Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday.

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as the Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on January 15, 2017
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as the Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on January 15, 2017 (Jason Miller | Getty/AFP)

NEW YORK - DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as a physical Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday.

DeRozan added five assists and five rebounds for Toronto but it was the no-nonsense defensive effort from his team that delighted Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

"I was really proud of the way the starters came out and set the tone, especially starting the third quarter," Casey said.

"(We) came out, set the tone defensively and built a 30-plus (point) lead, so my hats off to those guys."

Kyle Lowry, who finished with 16 points, nine assists and four rebounds, for Toronto, agreed.

"I just think we got more physical," Lowry said of the defense. "I think we started to get more physical after the first part of the first quarter and we just kept going.

"The bigs did a good job of rebounding and we got out and were able to run."

Toronto effectively sealed victory in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 27-8.

The Raptors third win in a row improved their record to 27-13 in the Eastern Conference standings. The Canadian franchise has now defeated the Knicks in five straight games.

"We weren't getting the stops, were not scoring, had some looks, but when you're not scoring, that's when you have to focus defensively and say, 'OK we may not be scoring, but we can stay in this game with defense'," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.

"We weren't good enough to play any defense and it just ballooned out from there."

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points, with Justin Holiday adding 17 and Derrick Rose 16 with three assists.

It was a fourth loss in five games for New York, who have a losing 18-23 record at the midpoint of the season.

Rose, who was fined last week for his mysterious no-show, said he was at a loss to explain the team's woes.

"Everybody has to analyze what's going on," Rose said.

"I really can't tell what it is. Can't put a finger on it. I don't know what it is. First time being in this (situation)."