RJ Barrett of the Knicks eager to face Scottie Barnes again, Raptors

RJ Barrett of the Knicks eager to face Scottie Barnes again, Raptors

RJ Barrett is looking forward to the Knicks’ game in Toronto on Sunday, especially after not visiting his hometown on Jan. 6. due to a lacerated finger.

“I can’t wait to play. I can’t wait,” Barrett said after scoring 23 points Friday night in a loss at Atlanta. “But [sitting out] It wasn’t so bad, because I knew we were coming this time.

“It will be a tough and physical playoff-type game. That’s what they’ve been all three times we’ve played them. We owe them. It will be a good matchup. You know I’m excited.”

Sunday’s game will be the third meeting in 17 days between the Knicks and the Raptors. The Knicks dominated north of the border just two weeks ago before the Raptors took a 2-1 lead in the season series on Monday in overtime at the Garden.

Barrett appeared to be fouled by Scottie Barnes in a tiebreaker at the end of regulation on Mondaybut the the league exonerated the umpires for the non-call in his last two-minute report the next day.

RJ Barrett
NBAE via Getty Images

Barrett expects to be assigned again to guard Barnes, the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year who scored 26 points on Monday. Barrett added that they were high school rivals in Florida when he played at Montverde Academy.

“That’s what I want,” Barrett said. “He played a good game [Monday]. New of the year. good player I don’t take anything away from him. But he has to protect me too.”

Quentin Grimes played just 16 minutes in the loss to the Hawks because of foul trouble, including a flagrant foul for extending his foot into Trae Young’s end zone on a 3-point attempt in the third quarter.

“It definitely frustrated me. I’ve got to be a little more disciplined, knowing that’s what he’s trying to do: draw fouls and pressure the refs,” Grimes said of Young, who finished with 27 points. “I feel that I have played it quite well until this match. This might be the seventh time, one out of seven, I’ll take it. But I have to be smarter.”

That marked the fewest minutes Grimes has played in 30 games since becoming a full-time starter on Nov. 20. He had averaged 34.2 minutes and 12.2 points in the previous 29 appearances.

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