Knicks takeaways from Friday’s 90-87 loss to Raptors, including Obi Toppin’s career night



Knicks RJ Barrett Driving white jersey Raptors

Knicks RJ Barrett Driving white jersey Raptors

The Knicks followed their loss to the Indiana Pacers with another defeat as they fell to the Toronto Raptors, 90-87, on Friday night.

Here are the takeaways….

– The Raptors came out shooting, making their first three three-pointers and going out to a 10-0 run to take an early 15-5 lead. Toronto would go on an 8-0 run, helped by a lot of Knicks turnovers, to extend the lead to 16. Coach Tom Thibodeau replaced Nerlens Noel, who started the game, with Mitchell Robinson and the team’s rim protection and offensive rebounding immediately improved. However, the Knicks’ poor shooting prevented them from cutting into the Raptors’ lead. Toronto would have a lead as large as 20 as they finished the first quarter with a 31-14 lead. RJ Barrett shot just 20 percent while the team as a whole shot 24 percent.

– The Knicks started the second quarter with Robinson, Derrick Rose, Barrett, Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. This group would go on a 7-0 run to cut the Raptors’ lead. Using better defense and offensive selections, the Knicks would tie the game at 39 after a 11-2 run. After letting the Knicks come back, the Raptors ended the quarter on a 11-3 run to go into halftime up 50-42. The Knicks shot 59 percent in the second and Toppin was a spark on the offensive end. He scored eight points in the frame. But the team turned the ball over 10 times leading to 12 points for the Raptors in the first half.

– The Knicks started the third on a 8-0 run, led by Noel’s six points, to tie the game. Toronto answered with an 8-2 run to retake the lead. Barrett scored five straight points for the Knicks to help the team take the lead, 63-62. Both teams struggled shooting down the stretch (both teams shot just 32 percent), but ultimately Toronto pulled away to go into the fourth quarter up 69-65.

– Toronto began the fourth with a three-point shot by Gary Trent Jr. that took a few bounces on the rim before going through, which was a bit indicative of the Knicks’ luck in the final frame. Both teams went back and forth with the Knicks tying the game at 73 with a Toppin three-pointer. Both teams traded buckets with the Raptors going on mini runs to take a seven-point lead. A three-point play by Julius Randle followed by a three from Barrett and pull up by Rose gave the Knicks the lead with less than two minutes to go. The Raptors regained the lead when Trent hit a three after two offensive rebounds gave the Raptors extra chances to score, a trend throughout the game. The Knicks would fight back, and down two with less than 30 seconds, Randle’s three-pointer rolled out of the rim. After the Raptors made one of two free throws, Barrett chucked up a prayer to send the game to overtime, but it was short.

– Toppin scored a career-high 19 points while also posting 10 rebounds. This is the 23-year-old’s first career double-double. Barrett scored 19 points on 36 percent shooting in his return to his home country of Canada while Randle scored just 13 points, but brought down 13 rebounds and dished five assists.


What’s next

The Knicks return home to take on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday at 12 p.m.


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