The Toronto Raptors will try to replicate the success they had on their last trip to New York when they visit the Knicks on Monday afternoon.
Pascal Siakam scored a career-best 52 points on Dec. 21 in the Raptors’ 113-106 victory that ended their six-game losing streak and New York’s eight-game winning streak.
The Knicks, who defeated the host Detroit Pistons 117-104 Sunday afternoon, avenged the loss to the Raptors with a 112-108 victory at Toronto on Jan. 6.
Julius Randle had 32 points and 11 rebounds and Mitchell Robinson added 10 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out in New York’s win at Toronto. Siakam was held to 18 points and 13 rebounds.
On Sunday, Randle had 42 points and 15 rebounds against the Pistons to help the Knicks to their seventh win in their past eight games.
The Raptors finished a 3-3 homestand Saturday with a 114-103 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in which they never led.
“We’ve got a long way to go with some consistency,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “I would have liked to have said we’re making some progress with just being ready to go energy-wise and connectivity-wise and all that stuff, and then (Saturday) it didn’t look like we had very good energy to start the game.”
The Raptors had hoped to turn around their season with the season-long homestand. They lost the first two games to the Milwaukee Bucks and Knicks before winning the next three — one against the Portland Trail Blazers and two against the Charlotte Hornets.
Scottie Barnes had 27 points and 12 rebounds against Atlanta on Saturday. Fred VanVleet, however, had three points on 1-for-9 shooting and is questionable for Monday’s matchup because of lower back soreness.
“Started off slow (in) a couple of the games, which allowed teams to get a stretch on us,” Barnes said in assessing the homestand. “We had a good three games where we played really solid. … We’re getting there, I guess.”
The Raptors will play 10 of their next 12 games on the road beginning Monday.
“We’ve got to find a measure of consistency with just moving, getting back, cutting more,” Nurse said. “You know, all the things that energy provides. Getting on the glass, more deflections — again, one of those, you know, we’ve got to finish possessions because there were four or five possessions (Saturday) where we deflected the ball and they end up with some great (scoring opportunities anyway).”
The Knicks play their next two games at home after their victory at Detroit.
New York coach Tom Thibodeau praised Randle’s defense in Sunday’s game.
“The rebounding is just huge,” Thibodeau said. “He got every big rebound down the stretch. He had some tough covers. He’s all over the place. He’s on the perimeter guarding guards and everything else. I thought he was terrific.”
Jalen Brunson added 27 points for the Knicks and Robinson had 12 rebounds.
“We made it a power game,” Thibodeau said. “(Detroit) went small so we rebounded the ball, we got to the line. We did the things we wanted to do to control the game.”
Immanuel Quickley added 17 points off the bench.
“Quick was Quick today,” Thibodeau said. “He’s indispensable.”
The Knicks are using wins like Sunday’s to gear up for the rest of the season.
“We’re trying to build ourselves as a team so, when the playoffs happen, we’re ready for it,” Randle said.
–Field Level Media