Lowry has 32 points, 11 assists, 8 boards in Raptors' 115-100 win over Knicks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Lowry has 32 points, 11 assists, 8 boards in Raptors' 115-100 win over Knicks

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan reacts during his team's 115-100 win over New York Knicks in NBA basketball action in Toronto on Saturday December 28 , 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
December 28, 2013 - 6:39 PM

TORONTO - Kyle Lowry poured in 32 points, plus 11 assists and eight rebounds, to lead the Raptors to a decisive 115-100 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday — a home victory that perhaps finally spelled the end of Toronto's lacklustre play at Air Canada Centre.

Terrence Ross had seven three-pointers as part of a 23-point performance for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors (13-15), who've won eight of their last 10 games — but were just 4-8 at home heading into Saturday's matchup.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 20 points, while Raptors newcomer Greivis Vasquez added 11, and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 boards to go with nine points.

Toronto's victory over the beleaguered Knicks was the second in as many nights, coming a day after they rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit to win 95-83 in New York.

The Raptors never trailed by more than two points Saturday, and took the lead for good late in the first quarter, pulling away in the second with crisp ball movement, strong team play, and the hot hand of Ross before taking an 85-71 lead into the fourth.

Vasquez, acquired in the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Sacramento, drained three consecutive three-pointers in the third for a 17-point Toronto lead. But the Knicks put up some resistance down the stretch, pulling to within six points on a basket by Tyson Chandler with 3:50 left to play.

Lowry, who was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double on the night, responded with a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to put Toronto up by 11 and out of danger to the relief of a sellout Air Canada Centre crowd.

Amare Soudemire had 23 points to top the Knicks (9-21), who were missing Carmelo Anthony (sprained left ankle) and Metta World Peace (sore left knee). Chandler added 16, while former Raptor Andrea Bargnani had 12 points in 17 minutes.

The Raptors were back in Toronto after going 3-1 on the road — a stretch that included victories over Oklahoma City and Dallas. But they've struggled at home, going 4-8 at the ACC prior to Saturday's matchup. Coach Dwane Casey said there'd been much discussion with his staff about the discrepancy between his team's performances on the road and at home.

"Whatever we've got to do, brighten the lights in the locker-room, whatever it is, we've got to get some juice at home," Casey said prior to tip-off. "We've been looking at it, what we do, the schedule of shooting, the schedule of workouts here at home, everything as far as trying to measure what we're doing differently."

They had no trouble Saturday, and played down the final few seconds in front of a standing ovation.

Bargnani, meanwhile, was booed mercilessly during introductions in his first regular-season game in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to New York last summer. Some fans chanted "Primo!" — a reference to his Toronto pasta commercials.

The seven-foot Italian was drafted No. 1 overall in 2006, and played his first seven NBA seasons in Toronto, but fans had little love left for Bargnani by the time he departed.

Before the game, Bargnani made light of the boos he knew he'd surely face.

"It's not the first time I got booed. It's not the last time. I've been playing in Europe since I was 14. It's not just about the boos. It's about life. … You hear them," he said. "But like I say, it's not the first time, it's not the last time."

Lowry raced out to a strong start, with nine points and four assists in a first quarter that saw the lead change hands nine times. The Raptors took a 26-22 lead into the second.

Toronto turned it up a notch in the second, and a driving layup by Lowry with just under a minute to go before the break put the Raptors up by 14 points. The Raptors took a 57-44 lead into the dressing room at halftime.

Ross drained three buckets from beyond the arc in the third, his third one with 4:14 left putting the home team up by 20 points.

NOTES: Friday's game at New York was the first of 11 straight against Eastern Conference opponents. . . The Raptors play the Bulls on New Year's Eve, then return home to host the Indiana Pacers on New Year's Day.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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