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A night after Toronto coach Sam Mitchell compared his team to the comical Washington Generals following a loss to the Washington Wizards, Vince Carter scored 22 points and backup point guard Milt Palacio had a season-high 18 points and seven assists as the Raptors routed the Knicks 114-91 Wednesday night.
"Sam is a funny guy when he gets mad," Carter said. "You know he's serious, and he means well and you take it to heart."
Palacio came within two points of his career-high for the Raptors, who won for just the second time in eight games.
Before the game, Mitchell said he was "losing his mind" because he thought the team could play better.
"I don't know if it had much to do with what I said, but our guys were ready to play tonight," the first-year coach said.
Toronto's Jalen Rose suggested that Mitchell should take it easy.
"Our coach has got a personality," Rose said. "Sometimes the game isn't going to go in your favor, that's why we have to stick together as a team and not get too high in the good times and not get too low in the bad times."
Toronto led by as many as 27 points in handing the Knicks their second-worst loss of the season. New York lost by 34 in its home opener against Boston.
"It was definitely one of those nights, those guys came home and definitely destroyed us," New York's Stephon Marbury said.
Palacio had 14 points as Toronto led 63-48 at halftime, a season-high for points in a first half for Toronto. Palacio and rookie Matt Bonner each had eight points as the Toronto outscored New York 30-20 in the decisive second quarter.
The Knicks didn't get closer than 18 points in the second half.
"Coach came after us and we responded," Palacio said.
Toronto's reserves outscored New York's 50-24. Bonner, quickly becoming a fan favorite, went 6-for-9 from the field for 12 points and seven rebounds.
Toronto's bench has impressed all season.
"I joke around, I call us the zoo crew like some caged animal. We're the zoo crew coming off the bench," Palacio said.
Marbury and Nazr Mohammed each had 25 points for New York. Jamal Crawford went 3-for-14 from the field for just seven points.
Carter, who joked two days ago that he wouldn't dunk again, made a spectacular windmill dunk to give Toronto a 24-point lead with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
Toronto's Rafer Alston hopes Mitchell doesn't lose his mind just yet. "I hope he doesn't lose it totally. It's only the first two or three weeks of the season. We have five or six months to go. I hope he stays sane," Alston said. ... Palacio scored a career-high 20 points on Mar. 16 for Cleveland against Utah. ... The Raptors honored the CFL champion Toronto Argonauts before the second quarter.