Knicks take another loss in Toronto after embarrassing third quarter
The Knicks know what their problem is. For the past month, defense has been the main subject after every loss. And this January has brought plenty of them. But what they keep missing is doing something about it.
This afternoon, in Toronto, the Knicks allowed a season high 69 points at halftime and entered the lockers trailing by 15.
Then they made a third quarter that marked a new season low as the Raptors started on a 21-2 run and took a 34 points lead with less then 4 minutes before the fourth.
Jeff Hornacek decided to take all the starters out and rest them for the next game and kick the bench in. Willy Hernangomez, Justin Holiday and Ron Baker made each a field goal before ending an embarrassing third quarter 62-96.
As the game was already decided, the second unit could only try and narrow the deficit during the last quarter. With fresh energy, the Knicks managed to cut a 38 points lead to just 12 with 1 minute to go, after they started the fourth quarter on a 15-4 run. At the final buzzer, the score was 101-116.
Lance Thomas, who started for Kristaps Poringis, left the court early in the first quarter after receiving an elbow in the face from Jonas Valanciunas. Later reports indicated he has left orbital fracture and concussions-like symptoms.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points and Derrick Rose added 16.
Holiday had a solid performance off the bench finishing with 17 buckets shooting 5-8, including 3 three pointers, Hernangomez had 8 points and 13 boards, Brandon Jennings scored 9 and dished 7 assists while Mindaugas Kuzminskas contributed himself with 9 points in 23 minutes.
The Knicks fall to 18-23 and will host the Hawks (23-17) in the afternoon.