A big effort from the bench helped make up for rare off-nights by two of the Toronto Raptors’ biggest scoring threats on Saturday.
Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and host Toronto beat the Knicks, 128-112, improving its league-leading record to 12-1.
Kawhi Leonard scored a season-low 12 points, failing to reach 20 for the second time in nine games. Kyle Lowry scored 10 points, one better than his season worst.
“That was our focus, to really do a job on those two,” Knicks Coach David Fizdale said. “You’ve got to pick a poison, and their role players really stepped up and made shots.”
OG Anunoby scored 16 points, and Serge Ibaka and Delon Wright each had 12 as the Raptors won their sixth straight home meeting with the Knicks and improved to 7-0 at home this season. Toronto, which had a season-high 62 bench points, has won six straight over all.
“Everyone is confident, everyone is working hard and just playing the game,” Siakam said. “It doesn’t matter what night it is, we just want to go out there and play.”
Toronto’s Nick Nurse became the first coach to win 12 of his first 13 games since Lawrence Frank started 13-0 with the Nets in 2004.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 27 points and Enes Kanter had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost 16 of their past 19 against the Raptors.
Siakam shot 6 for 7, including a career-best three 3-pointers, and went 8 for 9 at the free-throw line. He made up for a quiet night from Leonard, who did not make his first basket until a layup with 45 seconds to go in the first half. Leonard shot 2 for 7, missing his two 3-point attempts.
After missing all six of his field-goal attempts in Wednesday’s win at Atlanta, the Knicks rookie Kevin Knox shot 4 for 11 and finished with 12 points.
Toronto led by 64-53 at halftime, but the Knicks shaved the gap to three points with a 12-4 run to start the second half. The Knicks closed to one behind, but the Raptors outscored them, 30-13, over the final 8 minutes 51 seconds of the third to take a 100-82 lead.
The Knicks, who host Orlando on Sunday, missed 10 of their first 11 shots from 3-point range and finished 6 for 22 from outside the arc.
CURRY SITS OUT Stephen Curry, who has a mild to moderate left groin strain, did not play in Golden State’s home game against the Nets. Curry had a magnetic resonance imaging test Friday, but the Warriors will wait a few days to determine the severity of the injury. Coach Steve Kerr said it did not appear to be significant.
Curry, the two-time Most Valuable player, was hurt on Thursday night midway through the third quarter of a 134-111 loss to Milwaukee. Curry grabbed at his inner thigh after trying to contest Eric Bledsoe’s shot.