Pascal Siakam scores 52 as Raptors end Knicks’ 8-game win streak

By | December 22, 2022

NEW YORK — Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 52 points and the Toronto Raptors snapped the New York Knicks’ NBA-leading eight-game winning streak 113-106 Wednesday night.

“It’s cool,” Siakam said of posting his first 50-point game at Madison Square Garden. “I’m not a super basketball historian. I didn’t start basketball until a little late, but I know how special this building is, and I think that for me the most important thing is that my team needed every bucket for us to win, which is the most important thing to me .”

Siakam added nine rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes as Toronto snapped his six-game skid. Fred VanVleet scored 28 points and OG Anunoby had 15 as the Raptors won for the fourth time in 16 road games. It was their first win away from home since Nov. 14.

“We just wanted to get a win,” Siakam said. “For us, it just felt good to get a win, and the most important thing is to build on it.”

RJ Barrett scored with 30 points and Julius Randle finished with 30 points and had 13 rebounds. Immanuel Quickley added 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting in his first start of the season.

“I thought Quickley played a really solid game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The way he’s shooting the ball, we knew that would come around for him. He’s not hesitating. He’s letting it go.”

Toronto led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter before the Knicks used a 17-5 run to take a one-point lead at 102-101. New York limited Siakam to one field goal in the fourth quarter and held him to nine points in the period.

“It was tough and not unlike a lot of the games we’ve been in here lately,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said. “We could’ve folded up a couple of times in the second half and kept answering back.”

VanVleet specifically picked up the slack for Toronto, hitting two 3-pointers and scoring 10 points in the fourth. Toronto closed the game on a 12-5 run.

The Knicks had allowed an average of 98 points during their win streak, but no answer for Siakam, who nearly matched his career high (44 points, done three times) by scoring 43 in three quarters. Siakam had 34 points total in the second and third quarters, including Toronto’s final 17 points over a seven-minute span in the third.

Siakam’s 52 points — tied for the second most in a game in Raptors history — was the most by an opposing player at Madison Square Garden since James Harden had 61 in 2019. Siakam was coming off a 38-point performance in a 104- 101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Monday; he is the first player in Raptor’s history to average 45 points over a two-game span.

Siakam scored 26 in the first half, including eight during an 11-0 run in the second quarter that turned a one-point game to a double-digit Toronto lead. Siakam had 17 of the Raptors’ 35 points in the second, and Anunoby had seven points in the second.

“I didn’t think he was that involved in the game offensively, and then he got super-involved,” Nurse said of Anunoby. “He just started making some big drives and some strong finishes.”

Barrett kept New York in the game by scoring 19 points in the first half. Despite shooting 53% in the first half, the Knicks had 11 turnovers and trailed by as many as 14 in the first period and by 10 at halftime.

But New York took the lead with a 13-2 run that was keyed by Quickley’s two 3-pointers.

ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *