Raptors 99, Knicks 90
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New York vs Toronto
90 - 99
Record: 9-26
Nate Robinson scored 24 points (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Nate Robinson scored 24 points (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK (AP) - Chris Bosh was too quick for the Knicks' frontcourt. So Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry ended up on the bench, where it didn't matter how slowly they move.

Bosh had 40 points and 11 rebounds, and the Raptors rolled to a 99-90 victory over New York on Friday in the latest ugly night for the Knicks.

Taking the ball to the basket from the start and finishing two points shy of his career high, set earlier this season against Phoenix, Bosh quickly landed the disappointing Randolph-Curry tandem on the bench - and Randolph wasn't happy about it.

"We know that their two bigs in the beginning of the game, we had an advantage over them with our quickness moving laterally and up and down the court," Bosh said. "So I just wanted to kind of exploit that and get going a little early."

Randolph was benched the final 31-plus minutes and appeared frustrated with Knicks coach Isiah Thomas when he was removed for good. Randolph was yanked 20 seconds after committing an offensive foul with 7:35 remaining in the first half.

"Any player would get upset because they want to play," Randolph said. "I want to play. I love playing. I want to be out there."

Not that the Knicks were doing much with Randolph in there, anyway. They trailed the final 45 1/2 minutes and lost for the ninth time in 10 games, falling to 0-2 on a four-game homestand that Thomas said before the game was important for his last-place team.

"I thought he and Eddy both were just having problems with the foot speed of Toronto tonight and it was just a tough game to match up particularly for those two," Thomas said. "I just tried to go with quicker people and try to get us back in the game."

New York has dropped five straight at home. The Knicks were booed frequently in the second half, with the "Fire Isiah!" chants heating up late in the third quarter.

Thomas' offseason acquisition of Randolph has sometimes seemed confusing - including to Randolph - because he and Curry have rarely looked comfortable with the pairing. That wasn't a problem Friday, because the only place they spent much time together was on the sideline.

"I'm sure he's frustrated, just like we all are frustrated, and the one thing I know about him is that he wants to play," Thomas said of Randolph. "Every player wants to play. No one likes to be taken out of the game. And so we'll just move on."

Randolph played 10 minutes and said he was "a little frustrated" about not going back in. Curry stuck around for 15, finished with six points and two rebounds.

"I don't know what happened with that," Curry said of the Randolph-Thomas incident. "It was a tough night at the office for Zach. He'll cool off and it'll be another day tomorrow."

The Raptors led by double digits for nearly the entire second half of their second straight victory. Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker each scored 13 points for Toronto, while Jose Calderon finished with nine points and eight assists.

"We wanted to put the pressure on them," Bosh said. "We knew that the crowd wasn't going to be that friendly if we jumped on them quick and that's kind of what happened."

Jamal Crawford scored 27 points for the Knicks and reserve Nate Robinson had 24. Randolph and fellow starting forward Quentin Richardson were both scoreless.

Randolph's name surfaced in trade rumors this week, though Thomas has called all his players "untouchable." Then again, he seemed to hedge on another statement earlier Friday.

Ten days after predicting he would be here to see the Knicks win a championship with some of these players, Thomas made an analogy to a construction worker that made it sound as if he'd be gone before the Knicks are winners again.

"We need to build a culture here. We need to build a foundation. That's our job, that's this group's job," Thomas said before the game. "I've tried to put it in terms, I've told them we're kind of the concrete layers, we're the cement layers. When you move into your house, the guy who poured the concrete never really gets a chance to live in that beautiful house that he built. And our job right now is to make sure that we lay the concrete and we lay it correctly."

The Knicks were indeed brick layers early, missing eight of their first 10 shots and falling behind 15-4 on a layup by Bosh, who scored 13 points in the first quarter. He had two more layups in the final 46 seconds of the period, giving Toronto a 27-17 lead.

"He took the ball to the basket strong and got to the free throw line," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.

Bosh had 10 more points in the second quarter and the Raptors led 55-46 at halftime.

Notes: Thomas on if he'd change the way he uses his rotation if the Knicks don't turn things around soon: "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it and that'd be a fair question maybe a couple of weeks from now." ... Toronto has won the series 3-1 in each of the last three seasons. ... Thomas had words on the bench with Richardson after removing him from a loss in Charlotte last month.

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