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Raptors 92, Knicks 91: Scenes from a much-desired tanking that still managed to hurt

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Knicks played pretty well, but it didn’t matter. It rarely matters.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The thing about the New York Knicks is that they can achieve the result you desire — when you desire them to lose, at least — and yet somehow still manage to rip your heart out in the process. Carmelo Anthony missed a game-winner as New York was turned away, 92-91, by a Raptors club missing Kyle Lowry.

The Knicks played one of their finest defensive games of the season, particularly in the first half, when they held Toronto to 40 points. The Raptors quickly whittled a 13-point halftime lead thanks to some God-awful Knicks offense.

Willy Hernangomez didn’t get many shot attempts, but he did fight Toronto’s bigs and come up with some critical offensive rebounds.

Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas did their damnedest to counter All-Star DeMar DeRozan while making some sweet buckets of their own. Thomas made some hustle plays.

Perhaps none bigger than tipping out the offensive rebound to Courtney Lee, who hit what was almost the game-winner.

Alas, DeRozan came right back and hit a jumper over Derrick Rose. The Knicks had a foul to give, and DeRozan had the mismatch on offense, but you really expect Rose to make the smart play there? Good on Rose for toughing it out through a shoulder injury, but man that was dumb.

Recap to come. KnicksTank forever.