NEW YORK — Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 points, Kyle Lowry had 16 and the Toronto Raptors kept right on rolling after a big win two nights earlier, beating the New York Knicks 132-106 on Sunday for their season-high eighth straight victory.
The Raptors had no letdown after edging NBA-leading Houston on Friday in a matchup of the No. 1 teams in each conference, leading much of the game even with All-Star DeMar DeRozan shooting just 4 for 16 for nine points.
But seven Raptors finished in double figures in Toronto’s 15th win in 16 games. The Raptors fell one point shy of their highest total of the season, set in a victory over Cleveland on Jan. 11.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 and Luke Kornet had 18 as the Knicks dropped their seventh straight game and 15th in the last 16.
Coach Dwane Casey talked to the Raptors in the morning about this being a trap game, warning them to forget about the win over Houston and to ignore the Knicks’ record.
But none of that, or the early start time, slowed Toronto, which shot 50.5 per cent.
The Raptors got a buzzer-beating three-pointer from CJ Miles to lead 32-27 after one, then one from Malcolm Miller at the half to make it 65-57. And when New York got within seven late in the third quarter, the Raptors closed the period with an 11-2 run to take a 102-86 cushion to the fourth.
Raptors: Toronto has scored 100 or more points in 19 straight games, one shy of the franchise record set in the 2009-10 season.
Casey said before the game that reserve G Delon Wright would remain out with a sprained right big toe, but Wright felt good enough after working out that he played 20 minutes off the bench.
Knicks: New York played without starting centre Enes Kanter because of back spasms. F Lance Thomas sat out with a sprained right thumb after he was hit in the loss at Milwaukee on Friday. X-rays taken before the game were negative.
G Courtney Lee came off the bench after missing the last two games for family reasons. Coach Jeff Hornacek said Lee would practice Monday and likely return to his starting spot Tuesday.
New York opened the first of the two remaining five-game homestands on its schedule.
Both coaches were asked before the game if they were worried about a 1 p.m. start that felt like noon because of the beginning of daylight saving time.
“Those 12 o’clock games, one o’clock games, you never know how the players are going to end up coming out, but we’re pretty young team so I would expect that it would be fine,” Hornacek said.
Casey was more concerned that it would be a factor.
“No question it does, because you’re out of your body rhythm, your rhythm of you’re used to playing at seven, seven-thirty,” he said. “You’re out of your routine so to speak, so again, it becomes a professional approach and a professional game.”
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The game was the NBA’s first live broadcast of a game in prime time in India. It was the first of five games this season being shown live at a 10 p.m. India start time.
Raptors: Visit Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Knicks: Host Dallas on Tuesday.