Sunday , Mar , 18 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Raptors aim to extend division lead against Knicks

(Sports Network) – The Toronto Raptors will try to widen the gap in the
Atlantic Division this afternoon when they take on the New York Knicks at
Madison Square Garden.

Toronto currently owns a six-game lead over New Jersey for the division lead,
while the third-place Knicks are another half-game back of the Nets for both
second place and the eighth playoff spot in the East.

The Raptors had a four-game winning streak snapped on Friday when they were
defeated by Houston, 114-100. Chris Bosh tallied 16 points and 19 rebounds for
the Raptors while T.J. Ford led the way with 18 points and eight assists. Juan
Dixon ended with 17 points and Andrea Bargnani scored 16 in a losing cause.

Guards Anthony Parker (sprained right ankle) and Jose Calderon (sprained left
ankle) both missed the Houston game and are questionable for today’s game.

Toronto is 13-20 on the road this season, but will play its next two games at
home following today’s contest. It hosts Orlando on Wednesday.

New York also comes in on a losing note, having been defeated by New
Orleans/Oklahoma City on Friday. Steve Francis had 21 points and 10 assists,
but missed a potential game-winning three-pointer in a 92-90 defeat, the
Knicks’ second in a row.

Channing Frye scored 20 points and Eddy Curry had 18 for the Knicks, who play
the second of a four-game homestand today. The club is 17-15 as the host this
year, having won seven of its last nine at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks will also receive visits from Dallas and Portland as they continue
to battle for a playoff spot.

New York could be without Quentin Richardson today, as the guard is
questionable with a sore lower back.

Toronto has won three in a row over New York, including two matchups this
season. The clubs just met in Toronto on Wednesday, with the Raptors posting a
104-94 victory.

The Raptors have won seven of the last eight in the series and three of the
last four in New York.