Tuesday , Mar , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

James paces Raptors past Knicks

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Mike James posted his seventh 30-plus point
game of the season with a game-high 37 points and Chris Bosh poured in 31, as
the Toronto Raptors defeated the New York Knicks, 114-109, at Madison Square
Garden.

James also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists while Bosh added
seven boards in the victory. Charlie Villanueva contributed 15 points and
eight boards and Morris Peterson donated 11 points for the Raptors, who have
won two straight and four of their last five contests.

“There is no such thing as a bad win, especially on the road. The Knicks
have been playing well,” said Toronto head coach Sam Mitchell. “We were
fortunate with the mistakes that we made to still win the game.”

Channing Frye led the Knicks with 19 points before leaving with a knee injury
midway through the fourth period. Frye was taken to the locker room where x-
rays were negative. The forward is listed as day-to-day with a sprained left
knee ligament.

Jamal Crawford sprang for 16 points and Qyntel Woods added 15 points and 10
rebounds for New York, which lost its second straight game. Stephon Marbury
donated 14 points and Nate Robinson tallied 12 in defeat.

“We just want to be competitive, especially our bench,” said Crawford of the
reserves. “Our job is to bring energy. That’s what we tried to do today.”

Toronto outscored the Knicks by one point in both the first and second
stanzas to take a 55-53 lead into the half.

Jalen Rose buried a three to start the third, but Toronto took over from
there.

The Raptors went on a 13-2 burst over midway through the period to increase
their lead to 86-72. James converted two three-point plays while Peterson and
Joey Graham connected from long distance during the stretch. The Oklahoma
State product’s three capped the spurt with 1:39 left in the period.

Steve Francis made a jumper and Frye converted a pair from the charity stripe
to cut the deficit to 86-76 after three quarters.

The Knicks then reeled off the first five points of the final period to get
within 86-81. Frye connected on a mid-range jumper and Woods stepped out
beyond the arc for an unexpected three-pointer.

Toronto responded with an 8-2 flurry to reclaim its double-digit advantage.
Bosh re-established himself in the paint, attacking the basket for a three-
point play then converting a short jumper and driving layup. Peterson drained
1-of-2 from the foul line to make the score 94-83 with 9:09 remaining.

After the Knicks got within eight, 94-86, moments later on Jackie Butler’s
three-point play, Bosh stepped outside to do his damage. The southpaw buried
two jumpers off the high pick-and-roll, with his second bucket giving Toronto
a 104-91 advantage with 5:55 left.

The youthful Knicks showed resolve by scoring the next seven points. Robinson
drained a jumper, David Lee made a slam off a Robinson assist and Crawford
buried a three from the right wing with 4:36 to play.

Crawford drained a pair from the stripe with 2:06 on the clock to again cut
the deficit to six, 108-102, before Peterson converted a rainbow, contested
three from right in front of the New York bench.

The Knicks countered with Crawford’s old-fashion three-point play and the
deficit remained six until the final minute.

Crawford’s slashing layup made the score 112-108, but after Peterson missed a
trey on the other end, the Michigan State product stepped in front of a
driving Crawford and forced an offensive foul.

James made 1-of-2 from the stripe with 14.4 ticks remaining to increase the
edge to 113-108. Marbury then made 1-of-2 free throws, but the Knicks got no
closer.

Game Notes

Francis tallied 10 points and Lee added four in defeat…Graham scored five
points for the Raptors…Toronto improved to 12-22 on the road…The Knicks
fell to 13-21 at home and finished their homestand with a 2-3 mark…New
York’s bench outscored Toronto’s reserves, 50-14.

NYK TOR