Knicks return elimination favour

Moments after any sliver of hope for a post-season appearance officially disappeared, the Toronto Raptors took the news in stride — perhaps because despite their late-season surge, the stage had been set for their early dismissal well before Sunday.

Knicks 112 Raptors 103

TORONTO — Moments after any sliver of hope for a post-season appearance officially disappeared, the Toronto Raptors took the news in stride — perhaps because despite their late-season surge, the stage had been set for their early dismissal well before Sunday.

A day after the Raptors knocked the Knicks out of playoff contention, New York returned the favour, beating Toronto 112-103 to end Toronto’s six-game winning streak and eliminate the Raptors from a spot in the post-season.

“What’s done is done, can’t dwell on the past,” Bosh said on a season that went wrong weeks ago. “All we can do is look to what we’re doing now as opposed to what we were doing earlier in the season. What we’re doing now is working, it’s just too little too late.

“Would I like to be there? Of course, it’s the best basketball in the world. But we’re going to have to watch, I’ll just have to be a student of the game, see how I can get better by watching other teams.”

Bosh poured in 31 points to go with 14 rebounds to top Toronto (30-46). Andrea Bargnani finished with 18 points, Anthony Parker had 15, Shawn Marion finished with 13 and Jose Calderon added 12.

The game was the second of back-to-back matchups between the two teams, the Raptors having topped New York 102-95 Saturday to bounce the Knicks from playoff contention.

“They were just as long a shot as we were,” said Knicks guard Chris Duhon. “They needed a miracle, we needed a miracle, and we just ended those miracles for each other.”

“It’s different, I didn’t realize that,” Bosh said on the double-elimination. “But hey, it’s the NBA, that’s why I love this game.”

Many of the Raptors players hadn’t realized they’d been eliminated. Nor did coach Jay Triano.

“I appreciate you letting me know,” he said after the game. “I didn’t realize today this was it. Our goal is to try and win every game and it is still going to be our goal moving forward, it is not going to change.”

Wilson Chandler scored 17 points to top the Knicks (30-47), who snapped a five-game losing skid on the road, and won for their first time in their last 10 visits to Toronto. David Lee and Quentin Richardson had 16 points apiece, Jared Jeffries added 14, while Nate Robinson finished with 13.

The Raptors entered the game tied with Denver for the longest winning streak in the league, but faced nearly insurmountable odds of making the post-season.

They struggled Sunday, especially on the defensive end where they were ineffective against the Knicks’ long-range shooting — New York shot 13-for-25 from three-point range, and 7-for-10 in the first half alone.The Knicks broke the game open in the second quarter, and then took a 16-point lead into the final 12 minutes.

“We had been playing pretty good the last six games but a little bit flat tonight, we were fighting for the whole game and we didn’t make shots,” Calderon said. “When we got closer they hit a three.”

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