Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Lack the Manpower

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Lack the Manpower

Article excerpt

TORONTO -- One by one, the Knicks took a seat.

Carmelo Anthony announced at the morning shootaround that he would rest his sore left knee. Ninety minutes before the start, Jose Calderon gave in and was scratched with a strained groin. And just before tipoff, Kristaps Porzingis was ruled out with an upper respiratory infection.

And as you might have guessed, the Knicks didn't have enough to keep up as the minutes wore on, fighting harder and longer than their talent might have merited before finally succumbing in a 103- 93 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The loss was New York's fourth straight since evening its record at 22-22, and it faces the prospect of another short-handed lineup tonight at the Garden when it hosts the Phoenix Suns. For the Raptors, it marked a franchise-record 10th consecutive win.

Arron Afflalo led the Knicks with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, but his team didn't have nearly enough to hang on. Robin Lopez contributed just six points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes in a starting role.

Lance Thomas had just seven points. Kyle O'Quinn, a last-second addition to the starting lineup after playing just three minutes in the last two games, was 4-for-13 for eight points.

"Obviously it was difficult," Afflalo said. "We were going to have to play essentially a perfect game. I thought if we could just keep it close, we have the personnel to sometimes finish games with big stops or big shots. We had that makeup, but we had to keep the game close."

"Honestly, I think we fought hard, but we could have been better," coach Derek Fisher said. "We could have won this game and that's what we need to take away from it."

Calderon was on a rare visit to friendly confines. In Toronto, he's still a beloved player, the veteran who helped guide what's now the core of the Raptors through their formative years.

For DeMar DeRozan, life in the NBA has settled into stardom. His Raptors sit atop the Atlantic Division for a third straight season and he was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star roster for a second time Thursday night. …

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