Raptors rout Knicks

The Canadian Press
John Chidley-Hill

TORONTO–Don’t tell Pascal Siakam when he has a good game. He doesn’t want to hear it.
Siakam tied a career high with five three-pointers and had 31 points in just three quarters of work as the Toronto Raptors cruised past the New York Knicks 126-98 last night.
“I feel like every time you guys tell me I did something well, the next game I go like 0 for 8 or something like that. So, thank you for that,” joked Siakam.
“I’m just continuing to work hard. Shooting’s a part of my game that I continue to work on.”
Toronto head coach Nick Nurse believes that the 25-year-old Siakam will reach his true potential as an NBA player in the next 18 months.
Nurse explained how early in Siakam’s career the Raptors had him work on his shooting for at least an hour every day, taking 450 shots in solo sessions. After a few days of these specialized drills Siakam decided to double the volume of shots.
Fred VanVleet added 15 points with four assists and three rebounds as the Raptors (13-4) improved to 8-0 at home on the season, a franchise record.
OG Anunoby had his first career double-double, scoring 13 and pulling down 12 rebounds for Toronto, which sat its starters for the fourth quarter.
Julius Randle led the Knicks (4-14) with 19 points, most of which came in the first quarter. New York has lost 15 of its past 16 games against Toronto, including their last seven meetings.
Knicks rookie RJ Barrett, from Mississauga, Ont., announced earlier yesterday that he would play for Canada at the Olympic qualifying tournament this summer in Victoria.
He wore customized red sneakers that read “Made in Canada” on the sides for the game against the Raptors.
Barrett finished with 16 assists. He and Mitchell Robinson led New York with 31 minutes played.
He and fellow Canadian Ignas Brazdeikis were honoured with a brief video package in the first quarter. Brazdeikis finished with two points in 10 minutes of play.
Randle had 11 points as New York led by as many as 10 points in the first, but Terence Davis’s layup cut that to 29-21 by the end of the quarter.
An 11-3 Raptors run to start the second quarter was capped by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s putback of a rebound. He made a free throw to tie the game.
In other NBA action last night, Boston dumped Brooklyn 121-110; Orlando downed Cleveland 116-104; Indiana smoked Utah 121-102; Philadelphia defeated Sacramento 97-91; Charlotte edged Detroit 102-101; Houston soared past Miami 117-108; Milwaukee dispatched Atlanta 111-102; the L.A. Clippers outlasted Memphis 121-119; Minnesota beat San Antonio 113-101; Washington outgunned Phoenix 140-132; the L.A. Lakers shaded New Orleans 114-110; Portland got past Oklahoma City 136-119; and Golden State wrangled Chicago 104-90.