Si­akam’s 23 points help Rap­tors move to NBA-best 12-1

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - LAURA ARM­STRONG SPORTS RE­PORTER

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.

RICK MADONIK TORONTO STAR

Rap­tors for­ward Serge Ibaka is happy with the call as New York Knicks cen­tre Enes Kan­ter, back, raises his hand on the foul call.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.