NBA

Raptors withstand wild finishes, beat Knicks at MSG

Raptors withstand wild finishes, beat Knicks at MSG

NEW YORK — Ace Jalen Brunsonthe potential game-winning triple sailed through the air, Toronto Raptors Coach Nick Nurse took a clear look at his career.

And as she leaned into the basket, the nurse could only think of one thing.

“I was kind of like, ‘Please don’t come in,'” he said later, laughing.

“[I] I just expected him to miss.”

Fortunately for the Raptors, Brunson’s shot bounced off the back of the rim and into the air, allowing Toronto to escape with a thrilling 123-121 overtime win over the New York Knicks — one the Raptors tried to give away in the final seconds of regulation and overtime.

“We’ll take whatever we can get at this point,” the Raptors say Fred VanVleet said

It was VanVleet’s fumble with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter that set in motion a chaotic final moments of regulation. After Scottie Barnes i Pascal I’m sorry both missed jumpers that could have given Toronto the lead, the shot clock went out when Julius Randle grabbed the defensive rebound. But instead of playing defense and forcing the Knicks to take a shot in the final possession, VanVleet, who otherwise had an excellent game, finishing with 33 points, eight assists and just one turnover possession in 45 minutes, he picked Brunson for a foul, giving New York two free throws.

“I was just trying to make sure we got the last shot,” VanVleet said with a smile. “I was just trying to make sure we got the last shot, and we’ll leave it at that.”

But after Brunson split his two free throws, and VanVleet missed a 3 at the other end, Barnes grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled and made both free throws to pull back for a Toronto .

Then, after Brunson missed a potential jumper and Barnes was fouled by Randle chasing the rebound, he made the first of two free throws but missed the second, giving New York the ball with 6 seconds left. .

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau decided not to call a timeout and RJ Barrett — who grew up just outside Toronto — proceeded to go coast-to-coast and lay down a massive dunk on Barnes with 0.6 seconds left, sending the game into overtime.

“I thought it was a hell of a play, and that’s how the game went,” Thibodeau said. “Back and forth. Look, it was a quick turnaround for us, and we kept fighting the whole game.”

That Knicks fightback extended to when the game appeared to be in Toronto’s control when the Raptors had the ball with less than a minute left and a six-point lead.

Did all this happen then?

In order:

• Randle stole one OG Anunoby past, drove the entire court and was fouled while making a bucket to cut Toronto’s lead to four.

• Randle then missed the ensuing free throw, and after two Knicks offensive rebounds, Barrett was fouled and hit both free throws to cut the lead to two.

• After Toronto ran down the clock, Beautiful Achiuwa he missed a three-pointer that New York grabbed the rebound.

• And finally, on a fast break when Thibodeau again decided not to call timeout, Brunson got a clear look at what would have been the game-winning shot.

“I just [took] what the defense gave me,” Brunson said. “I saw him step back, I saw the timing and it’s a shot I work on all the time. I thought it was good.”

In the end, though, it wasn’t to be, as the Knicks, who were playing the second night of a back-to-back after beating Detroit on Sunday, fell to 11-12 at Madison Square Garden this season. The loss left New York as the only winning team in the NBA with a losing record at home, and one of only six teams with a sub-.500 record at home, with the Lakers possibly becoming in the seventh with a loss later Monday night at home to the Houston Rockets.

Toronto, meanwhile, has now won four of its last five games and picked up just its sixth road win of the season — only San Antonio (5) and Houston (4) have fewer — as it tries get out of the bottom of the classification of the Eastern Conference.

“I hope so,” Nurse said, when asked if it could be a galvanizing win for the Raptors. “There’s been really tough stretches for us, and there’s been a lot of games where we haven’t played that well. But saying that, there’s been a lot, we’ve played really well, against really good teams at home, on the road , wherever, that we didn’t get out to the right of a break here or there and we would have caught a lot of them.

“I think, for me, we definitely need to have less nights where we’re at, it doesn’t look like we’re moving, running very well or playing with rhythm. Less of that and more of that. I think we’re going to have a chance to win to anyone, like a month ago. We were playing really good basketball against really good teams in really tough situations, and we know we’re capable of doing that. So hopefully we can come out and play with that kind of execution on both ends . Really solid, organized, together, all that kind of stuff.”



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