Raptors withstand wild endings, outlast Knicks at MSG

NEW YORK — As Jalen Brunson’s potential game-winning 3-pointer sailed by the air, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse had a transparent look at its trajectory.

And, because it arced in the direction of the basket, Nurse solely had one factor going by his thoughts.

“I simply type of mentioned, ‘Please do not go in,'” he later mentioned with fun.

“[I] was simply hoping he was gonna miss.”

Fortunately for the Raptors, Brunson’s shot ricocheted off the again of the rim and into the air, permitting Toronto to flee with an exciting 123-121 additional time victory over the New York Knicks — one the Raptors tried to provide away within the remaining seconds of each regulation and additional time.

“We’ll take no matter we will get at this level,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet mentioned.

It was VanVleet’s mistake with 18 seconds to go within the fourth quarter that set in movement a chaotic remaining few moments of regulation. After Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam each missed jumpers that would have given Toronto the lead, the shot clock turned off when Julius Randle grabbed the defensive rebound. But, relatively than enjoying protection and forcing the Knicks to make a shot on the ultimate possession, VanVleet — who had an impressive recreation in any other case, ending with 33 factors, eight assists and only one turnover in 45 minutes — grabbed Brunson to commit a foul, giving New York two free throws in consequence.

“I used to be simply making an attempt to ensure we acquired the final shot,” VanVleet mentioned with a smile. “I used to be simply making an attempt to ensure we acquired the final shot, and we’ll depart it at that.”

But, after Brunson break up his two free throws, and VanVleet missed a 3 at the opposite finish, Barnes grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled and made each free throws to place Toronto again up by one.

Then, after Brunson missed a possible go-ahead jumper and Barnes was fouled by Randle within the ensuing chase for the rebound, he made the primary of two free throws however missed the second, giving New York the ball again with 6 seconds to go.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau elected to not name timeout, and RJ Barrett — who grew up simply outdoors Toronto — proceeded to go coast-to-coast and throw down an enormous dunk over Barnes with 0.6 seconds left, sending the sport to an additional session.

“I assumed it was a hell of a play, and that is how the sport went,” Thibodeau mentioned. “Back and forth. Look, it was a fast turnaround for us, and we stored combating the entire recreation.”

That struggle from the Knicks prolonged all the best way to when the sport seemed prefer it was firmly in Toronto’s management when the Raptors had the ball with beneath a minute to go and a six-point lead.

All that occurred then?

In order:

• Randle stole an OG Anunoby cross, drove the size of the court docket and was fouled whereas making a bucket to chop Toronto’s result in 4.

• Randle then missed the following free throw, and, after two Knicks offensive rebounds, Barrett was fouled and hit each free throws to chop the result in two.

• After Toronto ran the clock down, Precious Achiuwa missed a 3-pointer that New York grabbed the rebound from.

• And, lastly, on a quick break when Thibodeau once more elected to not name timeout, Brunson acquired the clear look at what would’ve been the game-winning shot.

“I simply [took] what the protection gave me,” Brunson mentioned. “I noticed him backing up, I noticed the time, and it is a shot I work on on a regular basis. I assumed it was good.”

In the tip, although, it was not, because the Knicks — who had been enjoying on the second night time of a back-to-back after successful in Detroit on Sunday — fell to 11-12 at Madison Square Garden this season. The loss left New York because the NBA’s solely successful crew to have a dropping file at house, and one in every of solely six groups to have a sub-.500 file at house.

Toronto, in the meantime, has now gained 4 of its final 5 video games and picked up solely its sixth highway victory of the season — solely San Antonio (5) and Houston (4) have much less — because it tries to climb out of the underside of the Eastern Conference standings.

“I hope so,” Nurse mentioned, when requested if this might be a galvanizing win for the Raptors. “There’s been some actually tough stretches for us, and there is been quite a lot of video games the place we’ve not performed that properly. But in saying that, there’s quite a lot of them we have performed rather well, towards actually good groups at house, on the highway, wherever, that we’ve not come out on the proper aspect of a break right here or there and we’d’ve picked quite a lot of these off.

“I believe, for me, we acquired to definitely have much less nights the place we’re simply, it would not seem to be we’re transferring, operating very properly or enjoying with tempo. Less of that and extra like this. I believe that we’ll be in with an opportunity to beat anyone, like we had been a month in the past. We had been enjoying some actually good basketball towards some actually good groups in some actually powerful conditions, and we all know we’re able to doing that. So I hope we will simply come out and play with that type of execution at each ends. Really stable, organized, collectively, all that type of stuff.”

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