Knicks Continue Playoff Push With Blowout of Raptors

Published on: 28th February, 2009

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New York – Tonight’s New York Knicks – Toronto Raptors contest could be classified in the following way: sublime AND ridiculous. From the first moments of the game, when the Knicks went up 9-0, this game had blowout written all over it for the home team and that’s exactly what we got in a 127-97 Knicks win in a game that wasn’t quite as close as the score might indicate.

Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 32 points while Nate Robinson continued his torrid play off the bench with 26 as Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks equaled their win total from last season (23) with 28 games still left to play and that now attainable eighth playoff seed looking them squarely in the eye.

“Well, we did it on Italian Heritage Night and I think that was important,” said D’Antoni, laughing. “We just played well. We shot the ball extremely well and when you do that you can see our confidence grow and I thought, defensively, we were really good.”

The first half was simply ridiculous as the Knicks raced out to a 75-50 margin. One couldn’t tell if the Knicks were simply an offensive juggernaut, fulfilling every objective drawn up on Mike D’Antoni’s pre-game chalkboard or it was the Toronto team playing so inefficiently and uninspired that they allowed the Knicks to score from all angles and distances on the court. Included in the Knicks 75 points in the half were ten three pointers (10 of 20 attempts) as the Knicks took advantage of a Toronto team that played defense as if they couldn’t wait to hit the New York nightspots after the game.

The Knicks raced out to a 42-22 lead after one quarter. They hit 16 of 22 shots (73 percent), the final one when Robinson drilled a 3-pointer while falling down just in front of the New York bench and then reached up to slap hands with coach Mike D’Antoni while lying on his back.

The lead ballooned to 30 when Harrington’s 3-pointer made it 75-45 with 1:14 left, giving the Knicks time to break the present Madison Square Garden record of 82 points in a first half they set earlier this season against Golden State. But they didn’t score again and settled for a 75-50 lead at the break.

The biggest lead was 98-60 on Harrington’s 3-pointer with 4:27 left in the third and New York hit the century mark soon after on Danilo Gallinari’s 3 point shot.

David Lee and Robinson, the two Knicks who had the most frequent trade rumors swirling around their heads as the NBA trade deadline approached, showed why Donnie Walsh opted to hold onto them rather than move their contracts. Lee and Robinson both matched their season scoring averages in the half, Lee hitting for 18 points on 7 of 10 from the field while Robinson scored 16 on 6 out of 8 shooting. Lee added eight rebounds while Robinson shot 3 of 4 from three point land.

Lee and Robinson were considered candidates to be moved because both will be restricted free agents this summer, and the Knicks may not want to give them the big raises they could demand so they can save money for the free agent summer of 2010. Both are playing too well to give up now, coming into the game averaging 16.4 points apiece.

Toronto star, Chris Bosh will be one of those 2010 free agents and the Knicks are rumored to be very interested in bringing him in to pair with LeBron James. Dream of dreams.

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