Nigel Hayes of the Westchester Knicks spoiled the Raptors 905’s shot at their fifth consecutive win on Wednesday, hitting a 15-foot buzzer beater on the baseline to give the Knicks a 101-99 victory.
Following an Xavier Rathan-Mayes missed three-point attempt at the top of the key, the long rebound found Hayes all alone in the corner with the perfect amount of time to line one up for the win. Hayes, who returned to the Knicks’ lineup following a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, finished the game with 19 points.
“We were able to tie the game, come down and make them take a tough shot, and then we don’t box out,” Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said on the game’s final possessions.
The 905 looked to have control of the game in the third quarter where they held their biggest lead of 18 points. However, a 33-point output by the Knicks paired with better defence in the final quarter allowed them to pull off the comeback victory on the road. As a team, the 905 only recorded one assist in that final 12-minute stretch.
“The ball just started sticking a little bit,” Stackhouse said on his team’s fourth quarter. “I thought there were plays where we could have shared it a little bit more.”
Canada’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the Knicks in scoring with 26 points, including some clutch shots down the stretch to help put the Knicks in a position to win.
Leading the 905 in this game was Lorenzo Brown, who finished with a near triple-double performance with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists; all of which were game highs. Also finishing in double figures for the 905 was Malcolm Miller, who provided a spark off the bench with 14 points. Davion Berry and Kennedy Meeks also contributed with 10 points apiece.
The 905 are now 19-13 for the season, finishing with an 8-3 record in the month of January. This loss pushes them 2.5 games behind the Knicks for the first spot in the Atlantic division.
“This one stings because we feel like this was a game that we should have won,” Stackhouse said. “We did enough to win, but they (the Knicks) made plays. Give them credit.”
The 905 will head on the road to take on the Erie Bayhawks on Saturday. These two teams met earlier this month with the 905 taking a 15-point win.