In their final game of 2020, the Toronto Raptors earned their 1st win of the season, taking down RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks, 100-83. Led by backcourt duo Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors went on a 19-4 run to shut down the Knicks in the final 12 minutes.
VanVleet led all scorers with 25 points and 7 assists on 47.5% shooting. He scored 10 of his points in the final quarter as he and Lowry combined for 45 points and 12 rebounds. Despite struggling from the free throw line, Toronto made 15 of 21 attempts, making it the most free throws they’ve shot all season.
Replacing a sidelined Pascal Siakam (due to disciplinary action), Norman Powell had his first start of the season. He gave the Raptors a spark in the starting rotation putting up 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting in 35 minutes. Powell had struggled in his last 3 games, averaging 6 points on 17.4% shooting. Look for Powell to try recapture his winning form from last season; before the shutdown, the guard was having a career year, averaging 16 points off the bench. There will be plenty of opportunity for Powell as Nick Nurse looks to keep his rotation fluid.
Toronto limited New York to their fewest points of the season shooting just 38% from the field. Julius Randle notched the only double-double of the night with 16 points and 10 rebounds with Kevin Knox adding 16 points off the bench. Despite the loss, they outscored the Raptors +18 in the paint.
Other contributions: Alex Len and Terrence Davis scored 11 and 10 points off the bench. In tonight’s win, 5 Raptors scored in double digits.
Next up… Toronto travels to New Orleans for a rematch of their home opener loss to the Pelicans. Tip off is 7:30pm Eastern at Smoothie King Center.