The New York Knicks have a pretty nice thing going so far under new head coach Mike Woodson, and they didn't let a road-weary Toronto Raptors team stand in the way on Tuesday night. New York came in with a three-game win streak, while Toronto was on the last stop of a five-game road trip. The Raptors hung around for a while, but in the end, the Knicks' streak stayed alive, and the Raptors headed back to Canada on a sour note, losing 106-87.
The big news for Toronto going into the game was the return of Jose Calderon. Calderon came back after five games missed due to a sprained right ankle and played pretty decently, posting 11 points and 9 assists. Jeremy Lin got the better of him this time around, though, riding hot shooting and a lot of passing opportunities in transition to finish with an 18-point, 10-assist night.
Lin's solid evening was one of many for a Knicks team that got a rather balanced effort from nearly everybody who touched the floor. Amar'e Stoudemire spun and wove his way to a game-leading 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyson Chandler dunked in another 17.
Carmelo Anthony, despite sub-par shooting, added another 17 to go with eight rebounds, five assists and yet another fine defensive outing (which was about his third in a row since he decided to start trying under Woodson).
New York used that balanced attack to build its lead in each of the four quarters, and the Knicks held an edge in pretty much every statistic. One of the biggest advantages for the Knicks was their massive advantage on the glass. They out-rebounded Toronto 46-30, including 16 offensive rebounds to just four for the Raptors. Stoudemire, Jared Jeffries and J.R. Smith (who had two fairly remarkable tip-ins) were the leaders on that front, keeping plays alive with hard work around the basket.
Toronto's highlight, if they had one, was a fairly impressive tantrum thrown by Aaron Gray. After committing an off-ball and-one foul in the third quarter, Gray decided to kick the ball in frustration, then grumble at the official when he got whistled for a technical. The follow-up outburst earned him a second tech and got him ejected while completing a five-point possession for New York, increasing the Knicks' lead to fifteen. Nicely done, Aaron!
New York climbed to 22-24 -- allllmost back to .500 -- with their fourth straight win, while Toronto dropped to 15-31 with the loss.