Another 4th Quarter Let Down. Toronto 125 NY 116

Another tie game entering the 4th quarter. Another Knick let down. This time Toronto went on a run at the start of the 4th, quickly building a double-digit lead that the Knicks could not recover from. Final score Toronto 125 NY 116.

On a late Sunday afternoon in Toronto — start time 6pm, after the afternoon playoff football games.

The Knicks were without Mitchell Robinson — and he was missed on Defense. And NY was without Immanuel Quickley — and he was missed at the start of the 4th, where he has recently dominated.

“They went on a run to start the 4th — I think they went 13-2, so — we got in another hole,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “We got to do a better job.”

“We gave them 26 points off our turnovers; it’s hard to overcome that,” added Thibodeau. “We fouled, we gave up offensive rebounds, and we turned the ball over. So, that’s usually a recipe to get you beat.”

NY has lost 4 in a row and drops to 25-23. Toronto had lost 3 in a row before the game — having lost every game after beating NY in a thriller last week. The Raptors improve to 21-27.

1. Barrett Starred — Except for the Start of the 4th

RJ Barrett had a strong, efficient game — 30 points on 10-18 shooting (4-8 from 3; 6-9 in free throws), 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Coming into the game, when asked about Scottie Barnes who got into it with the Knicks and Quentin Grimes in the last game the two teams played, said he couldn’t wait to guard Barnes and hoped Barnes guarded him.

RJ Barrett rose to the challenge — outplaying Barnes (19 pts) all night.

But Barrett needed to do even more — at the start of the 4th, he was in with the reserves and he did not take over the game; in fact he turned the ball over twice and missed a shot.

It was a key stretch — the game-deciding stretch.

2. Start of the 4th Killed NY

The Knicks slowly but surely battled back from a 17-point deficit in the 2nd quarter, to tie the game entering the 4th — 86 all.

But then to start the 4th:

  • Miles McBride missed a 3
  • Miles McBride missed badly missed a jumper
  • Obi Toppin dunked
  • RJ Barrett was stripped going to the hole
  • Evan Fournier made a bad pass, stolen by Chris Boucher
  • Chris Boucher made an dunk and was fouled two different times, going 4-4 from the line
  • Precious Achiuwa got fouled inside and made 2 free throws
  • RJ Barrett missed a jumper inside
  • Scottie Barnes got an offensive rebound, then scored on a Dunk plus a foul.
  • Barrett turned the ball over again leading to a Gary Trent Jr 3-pointer and NY was down 11.

3. Toppin Show

The Knicks were down 17 in the 2nd quarter when the Obi Toppin show began. Obi hit three 3’s in a row, and then hit a 4th — to cut massively into the Toronto lead.

Several of the 3’s were on feeds from Evan Fournier — the two were cooking together.

And then just like that Toppin was back to the bench. He only played 11 minutes, which had Knicks Twitter apoplectic and firing verbal hand grenades in the direction of coach Tom Thibodeau.

Toppin finished with 14 points in those 11 minutes, on 5-7 shooting (4-5 from 3).

4. Randle Rebounded; Other Guys Didn’t

Julius Randle had a very solid night — 23 points on 8-14 shooting, 19 rebounds, and 8 assists.

The Knicks glaringly missed Mitchell Robinson on Defense and the boards — Jericho Sims played well and put up good offensive numbers (10 pts on 5-5 shooting in 33 minutes) but only had 7 rebounds and made some mistakes underneath that resulted in some of the important Toronto offensive boards.

Isaiah Hartenstein played well but only got 2 rebounds in 15 minutes.

5. Toronto Looked Bigger

Toronto looked bigger all evening — all their players seemed to be a few inches taller than the Knicks — with 6’8 Pascal Siakam, 6’9 Precious Achiuwa, and 6’9 Chris Boucher — that allowed them the extra inch or two to grab a loose ball.

Jalen Brunson did not have a great shooting night in the lane, although he did hit his 3 — 6-15 from the floor (4-7 from 3) for 21 points. He was outdone by Fred VanVleet (28 pts on 8-19 shooting (4-8 from 3).

Quentin Grimes had 8 pts on 2-8 shooting in 33 minutes.

Evan Fournier played well — 8 pts on 3-9 shooting (2-7 from 3).

The Boxscore

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