David Lee should get dissed more often. The All-Star snub must’ve properly channeled whatever rage he had for not being selected as an Eastern Conference reserve because he put in serious work against the Toronto Raptors’ frontline.
Alas, his solid game wasn’t enough, as the Knicks fell to the Raptors, 106-104. The fourth-year player registered 29 points and 18 rebounds – including a double-double in the first half – yet New York [18-26] couldn’t gain any ground in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Danilo Gallinari added18 points and seven rebounds, including 14 points in the first half, while Nate Robinson was brilliant in the second half, scoring 12 of his 14 points, including one stretch where he scored nine consecutive points
Three things we saw:
1. Unlike the last time these teams met, the Knicks got off to the fast start. Within the first five minutes of the game, New York owned a double-digit lead, had all five starters in the scoring column and assisted on 11 of their first 13 made field goals. David Lee led the way in the first quarter, as he netted 13 points. Danilo Gallinari, who was honored with an invite to next month’s Rookie-Sophomore game, hit his first three shots, including two threes, and had nine in the opening stanza.
2. You just knew Lee was going to go off. Anyone who saw him pre-game at his locker could attest that the all-star snub, who’s usually laid back, had a rare intense focus in his eyes. Lee said he didn’t take the diss personally, saying, “I guess we have to win more games.” But it was apparent he was hell-bent on having a great game. Not only because it was against a team they’re chasing in the standings but because he was facing perennial all-star Chris Bosh. Lee didn’t disappoint the faithful, as he recorded 13 points in the first quarter, en route to 29 points for the game. He also finished with 18 total rebounds for good measure. Lee went toe-to-toe with Bosh, who had 27 points and 15 rebounds, including a layup late that pushed the game out of reach.
3. Nate Robinson did his best to keep the Knicks in the game as he netted 12 of the Knicks’ 16 points to bridge the third and fourth quarters – including nine consecutively at one point. Al Harrington, who struggled with his shot all night [5-of-16], also knocked down huge buckets down the stretch, including an and-1 to tie the score and a huge 3-pointer [his only one] in transition to put the Knicks up by three. But it was a key offensive foul in the waning seconds that ultimately doomed New York. The Knicks scored just two points in the last 1:47 to blow yet another late, fourth-quarter lead.
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