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Raptors 113, Knicks 104: “Halloween hangover”

Stand clear of the closing win streak

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

My DVR stopped working in the second quarter last night. It’s been 16 hours since and it still won’t kick in. No matter what I try, it won’t run beyond Immanuel Quickley hitting the side of the backboard bricking a corner 3 attempt. I try to live my life with the belief that the universe unfolds as it must. Maybe the DVR was doing me a favor: I didn’t get to finish what began as a Knick coronation but ended as a 113-104 defeat to a team missing All-Star Pascal Siakam and rookie sensation Scottie Barnes.

I let the game record figuring I’d watch it afterwards. My daughter is always cool watching the games, so I figured I’d return the favor and watch something she wanted, which ended up being Harry Potter meets Back to the Future. After the first quarter ended I felt safe leaving the action: the Knicks came out swinging for the fences and kept connecting. Did you know Fernando Tatis Sr. once hit two grand slams in the same inning? That was the Knicks in the opening frame: they made eight 3s, a furious flurry that felt fatal for their foes.

After scoring just 10 points Saturday at New Orleans, Julius Randle exploded for one of the great regular-season quarters any Knick has pro’ly ever had. 18 points, four assists and three rebounds for Don Julio, including banking a longball at the end of the first that got a “Bing bong!” outta Mike Breen.

How do you recover from that many roundhouses? It helps having this guy on your side.

OG Anunoby went off, firing in a career-high 36 on a night his team needed someone to transcend. The Raptors starters outside of Precious Achiuwa shot nearly 50% from the field, including 13 3-pointers, also including Gary Trent Jr. reminding us what Quickley at his best looks like.

You know the danger of letting an underdog catch a whiff of confidence. Once they get on a roll...

...they stay on that roll.

The Raptors essentially doubled up the Knicks on the offensive glass while also forcing twice as many turnovers as they committed, riding a 38-22 Third Quarter of Doom to the victory. Toronto’s not a contender; at best they’re pro’ly a play-in team. But their coaching staff and roster retain the muscle memory of being the best. On the night of the 75th anniversary of the first game in franchise (and league) history, the Knicks couldn’t best that. Toss this one in your forgetting hole and move on, and hope the Knicks do too.

Notes

  • On the Knicks’ first possession of the game, Mitchell Robinson found himself with the ball in his hands with the shot clock about to expire and his back to the basket, pretty much at the arc. Mine eyes thirsted to see him put up a fadeaway 3-point try. Alas, he handed it off to Evan Fournier. Maybe another day?
  • Later in the first Mitch attempted and nearly completed an audacious blind reverse alley-oop. I love Beefaroni Mitch but will also enjoy when he’s lightened up just a tad and resumes the role of rim-running Ragnarok that we’re used to.
  • On one drive to the hoop Randle laid it in after just overpowering his defender and leaving them on their back in the paint. Stephon Marbury had a way of looking like a running back while penetrating. Randle looks like Derrick Henry sometimes, just an impossible, implausible athlete.
  • The Garden p.a. played a human voice saying “bing bong” after an early Fournier 3. Yo, cue the actual sound effect or GTFO, MSG. Also if you never saw this before, what if the subways were updated musically?
  • Mentioned earlier the Knicks made eight 3s in the first quarter. How far we’ve come: in 1991-92, John Starks, famous for jacking up 3-point attempts, didn’t make his eighth 3 of the season until the team’s 10th game.
  • Clyde Frazier was a year old when the Knicks played their first game ever against the Toronto Huskies. He said if he hadn’t become an NBA player he’d have gone into teaching phys. ed. What would Mr. Frazier the gym teacher dress like if he hadn’t become Clyde?

Quoth cctoastt: ”Halloween hangover.” Today is Election Day; hopefully the Knicks won’t be wiped out from that in their next game, tomorrow at Indiana. The only other time New York lost this season, they followed it up with three wins. Hopefully the universe unfolds in familiar fashion for them.