Pascal Siakam drops 52 points, Raptors end Knicks 8-game winning streak with 113-106 win – The Denver Post


The streak is over.

The hottest team in the NBA lost to the coldest on Wednesday night, when the Knicks folded down the stretch and succumbed to a career night from Pascal Siakam in a 113-106 defeat to the Raptors.

Siakam finished with a career-high 52 points, including the dagger and-one lay-up with 15 seconds remaining. It was the first 50-point game at MSG since James Harden dropped 61 for the Rockets in 2019.

“It’s cool, obviously,” Siakam said after getting doused with water in a locker room celebration. “Obviously I’m not a super basketball historian. I didn’t start basketball till late and I’m learning about these things. But I know how special this building is. And I think that for me — the more important thing is my team needed every bucket to get a win.”

Siakam’s dominance meant the Raptors (14-18) simultaneously snapped their six-game losing streak and New York’s eight-game winning streak.

The Knicks (18-14) led by a point after RJ Barrett’s thunderous dunk with 3:20 remaining, but came up empty on their next three possessions — including a blown lay-up from Julius Randle when the ball slipped from his hands — and the Raptors pounced. Overall, the Knicks got spirited offensive performances from Barrett (30 points) and Randle (30 points, 13 rebounds), but Jalen Brunson was bottled up while managing a season-low seven points on 3-of-14 shooting.

“The way I played, I feel terrible. It’s unacceptable on my part,” Brunson said. “Five turnovers, just way too much. Shots I make with ease, I missed. Not going in the basket. I’m just disappointed in my turnovers and it’s just unacceptable on my part.”

Brunson and the Knicks had trouble cracking Toronto’s zone defense and committed 16 turnovers.

“I put it on us. We knew it coming in and we just didn’t execute, so that’s on us,” Randle said. “That’s on the players, on the team.”

Siakam, meanwhile, shot 17-for-25 with nine rebounds, seven assists and left with the game ball.

“I haven’t had one of those in forever,” he said. “There’s always a first.”

The Knicks were missing their two-way cog in the lineup, Quentin Grimes, who suffered a sprained ankle the night prior against the Warriors. Grimes continued to play after the injury Tuesday and logged 32 minutes, providing hope that he could avoid any missed games.

But the 22-year-old wing was ruled out after warmups Wednesday.

“Normally when something like that happens the next day he has to go through the protocols and see where he is and if he needs a day, he’ll get the day. If he doesn’t, he’ll be out there,” Tom Thibodeau said. “I don’t think it’s anything long term.”

Wednesday’s loss underscored the importance of Grimes, whose perimeter defense had re-established the team’s being stingy with points. Grimes filled the hole left by Reggie Bullock, who was the unsung hero of the Knicks run to the 2021 playoffs but left for the Mavericks in the following free agency.

Last season — without Bullock — the defense fell apart. And on Wednesday, the Knicks gave up more points — 113 — than any of their previous seven non-overtime games.

“[Grimes] competes. I noticed that last year when he got minutes,” Randle said. “He doesn’t try to get out of character and do something he’s not comfortable doing offensively. But I know defensively, he’s going to compete on the ball, he’s going to fight over screens, try to make it tough for the other guy and accept the challenge. You got to love a guy like that.”



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