Toronto Raptors snap three-game skid with a win over the New York Knicks

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Toronto Raptors get a much-needed win after defeating the New York Knicks to a score of 125-116. This was a game that fluctuated greatly, with each team displaying great effort. Despite the Knicks' attempt at winning this game, it was halted by the cohesive team effort that the Raptors put forth in this matchup.

Consistency on all fronts has been an issue for Toronto this season. There hasn't been a game with all of the starters playing close to their best brand of basketball. However, this might be the first instance this season where they have. Each starter scored in double figures with three totalling 20 points. Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. both finished with 24 points, while Fred VanVleet added a team-high 28 points.

O.G. Anunoby was sidelined with an injury and featured Precious Achiwua getting the starting nod and notching another outstanding performance since he returned from injury, finishing with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. 

As much as the offence was clicking for Toronto, their defence was sensational forcing 16 turnovers while acquiring 12 steals. Although there was a great effort put on display on both ends, there was one deciding factor and that was free-throw shooting.

The Raptors won the free-throw disparity going to 28-35 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Knicks were just 18-26 in free-throw shooting. That 10-point margin between the two teams eventually became the x-factor when looking at the final box score as the Raptors won by just nine points.

New York played a good basketball game as well despite the loss and that was in large part to the stellar play of Mississauga native, R.J. Barrett. The former top-three pick finished with 30 points and adds another great performance to his archive of matchups against the Raptors, as he plays his best against his hometown team.

Soon-to-be All-Star, Julius Randle, finished with a monster game of 23 points, 19 rebounds, and eight assists. It was clear that they really missed Mitchell Robinson, who in the last matchup between these two teams wreaked havoc on the glass.

This was a big win for the Raptors as they still look to claw their way back into the playoff conversation. Toronto improves to 21-27 on the season and remains a game and a half behind the Chicago Bulls for the final play-in spot. They will prepare for their next matchup against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at 10 PM ET.