Raptors Show Some Grit In Big Win Over Knicks

 

A simple statement from our #RTZ Tweet of the Night winner @Liston, but one that speaks volumes about two distinct and clashing trains of thought present in the Raptors’ 96-79 win over the Knicks on Friday at ACC.

First the Linsanity portion, which saw large pockets of the sellout crowd out in force to support Knicks lead guard Jeremy Lin. Groups of fans clearly had planned for this event, as there were shirts and signs that ran the gamut of every terrible pun involving a surname that didn’t resonate quite as much eight short weeks ago. That contingent of fans cheered him as though they were in the presence of NBA royalty to start, but that slowly was drowned out as Lin proceeded to struggle (he finished with six points, four assists and three turnovers) and Raptors fans in attendance countered the “love-Lin” with boos.

Gary Forbes and the Raptors meanwhile, were merely thinking about avenging Tuesday’s beatdown in New York, where the Knicks bullied, giggled and discount double-checked their way to a blowout win at MSG earlier this week.

“They kicked our butt in New York the other day,” said Forbes post-game. “Coach pretty much reiterated we had to come in here and protect our home court and we played with a chip on our shoulder.”

DeMar DeRozan led the way, as he turned in a brilliant performance with a season-high 30 points and some solid defence before he was forced out of the game late in the fourth quarter with a left ankle injury. He described it as a tweak and will be reassessed Saturday in Chicago, where the Raptors face the Bulls.

Forbes certainly did his part by going bonkers in the fourth, where he scored 14 of his 19 points on the night and simply took over the game. During one memorable sequence, he threw a lob off glass for DeRozan then followed with a driving layup over Lin that prompted some emphatic chest smacking in front of the Knicks bench.

But what was equally impressive to all the highlight reel material was the Raptors desire to meet the physical challenge of the Knicks all night long. Whether it was Andrea Bargnani sending Lin to the deck in the first half with a hard screen, Amir Johnson challenging everything that came his way inside or Jose Calderon getting under the skin of Baron Davis late, head coach Dwane Casey saw a lot to like.

“Everybody who played in the game came in and made a physical play,” said Casey. “That’s what we were looking for. They physically outplayed us in New York last game.”

The Raptors now look to avenge another tough loss from earlier in the week against the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday night. Until then, here’s more of what you had to say about the win with our Top 10 #RTZ Tweets.

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