NEW YORK (AP) — On Star Wars night at Madison Square Garden, the Toronto Raptors showed why they remain a galaxy far, far away from the New York Knicks.
With All-Star players and big-game experience, the NBA champions have too many assets the Knicks simply lack.
“We’re just a team that, we are comfortable in every situation,” point guard Kyle Lowry said. “We understand what to do and we’ve been here before.”
Lowry scored 26 points, Pascal Siakam had 23 and the Raptors beat the Knicks 118-112 yesterday for their sixth straight victory.
A night after being voted to start the All-Star Game, Siakam had two big baskets down the stretch. He drove for a dunk with 1:09 left and Toronto leading by only one, then nailed a three-pointer with 21 seconds remaining after the Knicks had closed within three.
Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell each finished with 16 points for the Raptors, who beat the last-place Knicks for the eighth straight time.
“I think we’re battle-tested,” Siakam said. “We are a team that has guys that understand what it takes to win and when everything is not going right, don’t panic and continue to play.”
Marcus Morris and Damyean Dotson each scored 21 points for the Knicks, who have dropped five of six. Julius Randle had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Along with performers dressed in Star Wars costumes, fans were treated to music and sound effects from the science fiction franchise. In another unusual sound for Madison Square Garden, a loud “Let’s go Raptors! Let’s go Raptors!” broke out in the fourth quarter.
And as usual, the Raptors fans left happy. Toronto has won 16 of the last 18 meetings, including four straight in New York.
But the Knicks made it tough, just as they did in recent losses to Philadelphia and the Lakers.
“Well, it’s tough because we competed the entire game,” Morris said. “Definitely tough to keep losing like that.”
New York had held their last three opponents to 100 points or fewer, but the Raptors have too much firepower to be held down too long.