Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (it says something about how dominant the Raptors bench was that the two Raptors stars haven’t been mentioned in this story until now) each played less than 30 minutes for the fourth consecutive game. That can only pay dividends come playoff time.
Jonas Valanciunas was key early with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while the Raptors bench went off late, scoring 61 points and finishing a combined plus-93.
Why’s that? Well, the Knicks came into the night almost satirically short-handed, with a procession of useful players unavailable due to a catalogue of reasons including season-ending injury (Kristaps Porzingis, Ron Baker), trade (Doug McDermott, Willy Hernangomez), receiving 30 in-mouth stitches (Enes Kanter), and forced exile due to verbally berating the head coach (Joakim Noah).