Siakam’s 23 points help Raptors move to NBA-best 12-1
If Pascal Siakam went up toe-totoe with the Energizer Bunny, it would be a toss up who would provide the greatest spark.
The 24-year-old Raptors big continued his blistering start in a 128-112 win over the New York Knicks at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday afternoon, helping Toronto extend its record to 12-1 and maintain its unbeaten streak at home.
Siakam set a career-high for a second time this season, putting up 23 points in a team-high 28 minutes without touching the floor in the fourth quarter. It
was the Bench Mob, which got its groove back over the course of the game, that closed out the victory with relative ease. Siakam’s new career high came on seven field goals and he made three three-point shots for the first time in his career.
“I just gotta continue to trust the work that I put in,” Siakam said.
West Coast grog: Coach Nick Nurse was expecting a West Coast hangover in the first game back after four on the other side of the continent. The fatigue seemed to affect Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry the most. Both players played a season-low in minutes, combining for just 22 points.
Bench is back: The Raptors started slow once again, registering their first field goal about 41⁄ 2 minutes in when Danny Green hit his first three of the night. Toronto missed its first six shots and turned over the ball on three of its first five possessions. It was Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, C.J. Miles, Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright who shored up Toronto’s defence in the final minutes of the quarter en route to a 62-point night for the bench.
Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who put up a gamehigh 27 points, said it is Toronto’s depth that makes them such a threat this season.
“That’s why they’re so good,” he said. “They have that supporting cast that comes into the game and they take care of business. It’s as simple as that. They came down there and made their open shots, got to the free-throw line, defended pretty well.”
Miles to go for Miles: Miles returned to the fold after missing Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with right hip bursitis. He failed to break out of an early season slump, putting up six points in just over 18 minutes but his only three of the night, on five attempts, was celebrated by his teammates as loudly as any other bucket on the night.
Glass work: Rebounding is an area in which Toronto has made clear it wants to improve, but they were out-rebounded 47-46.
Millenium club: Green became the 103rd player in NBA history to make 1,000 three-pointers. He went 3-for-7 from behind the arc on Saturday, hitting at least two threes for the 11th time in 13 games.
Up next: A visit from the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Raptors forward Serge Ibaka is happy with the call as New York Knicks centre Enes Kanter, back, raises his hand on the foul call.