The New York Knicks will have one chance before the All-Star break to rebound from its thorough beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden Sunday—that’s a Wednesday home tilt against the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks have lost two of three games since their recent six-game winning streak, which temporarily put them on the heels of the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat. Against the Clippers, New York was outscored by 13 points in the fourth-quarter, which resulted in a 102-88 defeat as a 3.5-point home favorite.
Carmelo Anthony had a huge game scoring 42 points for the Knicks, but was quiet in the fourth quarter. Raymond Felton chipped in 20 points for the Knicks.
This will be the the first game of the season between the Knicks and Raptors (19-32). Toronto’s recent trade acquisition, Rudy Gay, is showing signs of things to come while continuing to adjust to his new team. He played 40 minutes and scored a team-high 20 points with eight rebounds to spark the Raptors in a 102-89 win on the road against the New Orleans Hornets as a 3.5-point favorite Sunday. Gay is teaming up in the backcourt with DeMar Derozan, the team’s leading scorer at 17.4 points a game.
The Knicks’ six-game winning streak—which came largely against sub-par competition—was ended with a road loss against the improving Washington Wizards last Wednesday. Sandwiched between the losses to Washington and the Clippers was a 100-94 win on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
The Knicks have certainly cooled off in the last week, but remain among the premiere teams in the Eastern Conference while sporting a solid 25-22-2 record against the NBA odds this season. It should be an interesting test Wednesday when Toronto and Gay visit the Garden.