Lin leads Raptors to rout of Knicks; Lowry injured
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors will likely have to wait a little longer to get their entire lineup healthy at the same time.
Jeremy Lin scored 20 points, Fred VanVleet had 13 points and 12 assists for his first career double-double, and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks 128-92 on Monday night.
The victory came at a cost to the Raptors, who saw guard Kyle Lowry leave in the third quarter after suffering an injured right ankle. Lowry, who had 15 points and eight assists in 26 minutes, was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore left ankle.
Toronto coach Nick Nurse said Lowry’s latest injury was “not terribly bad,” although Lowry said after the game that his ankle was “pretty tender.”
“I’m able to walk, a little bit slower, but I’ll be all right,” Lowry said.
New York rookie center Mitchell Robinson collided with Lowry while chasing a loose ball at 5:15 of the third, falling onto Lowry’s legs and taking the All-Star point guard down from behind. Lowry slapped the floor in pain and frustration before being helped to his feet and limping to the locker room.
“I watched the clip,” Lowry said. “I think it was a little bit dirty. He grabbed me and pulled me down. I don’t think he did it on purpose. I know he didn’t think he was going to hurt me.”
Robinson, who fouled out with no points in 14 minutes, did not speak to reporters.
Marc Gasol had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Pascal Siakam scored 19 points and OG Anonoby had 14 as Toronto reached 50 wins for the fourth straight season.
Allonzo Trier scored 22 points and Kevin Knox had 12 as the Knicks lost big one day after Mario Hezona’s last-second block gave them a 124-123 home win over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. New York, which has the worst record in the NBA at 14-57, lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
“Toronto is going to be in that mix at the end,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “They’ve got all the ingredients to go after this thing. We took one on the chin tonight.”
With the Raptors playing the second game of a back-to-back, forward Kawhi Leonard was given the night off to rest. Leonard scored 33 points in Sunday’s loss at Detroit. VanVleet, who returned to the lineup Sunday after missing 12 games because of an injured left thumb, started in place of Leonard.
With forward Serge Ibaka set to return from a three-game suspension Wednesday, Toronto looked set to have its whole roster available for the first time since the trade deadline. Instead, Lowry may be forced to miss at least one of this week’s two games against Oklahoma City. Toronto visits the Thunder on Wednesday before hosting them Friday.
“I’ll be doing some treatment all night, trying to get myself healthy and try to get back and not be out long,” Lowry said.
Toronto made 14 of 17 shots in a blistering first, including five of seven from long range, and led 38-29 after one. The Raptors led 73-54 at halftime. It was Toronto’s highest-scoring half of the season.
After the Raptors opened the second half with an 8-0 run, Fizdale called timeout and removed all five starters.
“Not getting it done, not playing at the level I wanted to see the game played at,” Fizdale said. “They understood. I think every guy that was out there owned it.”
The change didn’t help, and Toronto took a 101-69 lead into the fourth.
Knicks: G Dennis Smith Jr. missed his third straight game because of a sore lower back and F Noah Vonleh missed his second straight because of a sprained right ankle. ... Fizdale said G Frank Ntilikina will be reevaluated Tuesday. Ntilikina has not played since Jan. 27 because of a sore groin. ... Robinson has now recorded a block in 28 straight games, tying Patrick Ewing for the longest streak ever by a Knicks rookie.
Raptors: Ikaba served the third and final game of his suspension for throwing a punch at Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss on March 11. ... Toronto is 15-5 without Leonard. ... Toronto’s 36 assists matched a season-high. The Raptors had more assists than the Knicks had made baskets (28).
Toronto is 8-0 at home against Atlantic Division opponents. The Raptors have won 31 straight home games against Atlantic foes. Their last home defeat to a division opponent was a Nov. 10, 2015, loss to the Knicks.
WHOLE AT HALF
Toronto won its 18th straight game when leading at halftime, extending a franchise record.
Knicks: Host Utah on Wednesday night.
Raptors: At Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
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