Siakam ties career-best five three-pointers to leads Raptors in rout of Knicks

Raptors 126 Knicks 98

TORONTO — Pascal Siakam tied a career high with five three-pointers and had 31 points as the Toronto Raptors cruised past the New York Knicks 126-98 on Wednesday night.

Siakam matched his three-point performance from a 122-104 rout in New Orleans on Nov. 8 when he also had a career-best 44 points.

Fred VanVleet added 15 points with four assists and three rebounds as the Raptors (13-4) improved to 8-0 at home on the season, a franchise record.

OG Anunoby had his first career double-double, scoring 13 and pulling down 12 rebounds for Toronto, which sat its starters for the fourth quarter.

Julius Randle led the Knicks (4-14) with 19 points, most of which came in the first quarter. New York has lost 15 of its past 16 games against Toronto, including their last seven meetings.

Knicks rookie RJ Barrett, from Mississauga, Ont., announced earlier Wednesday that he would play for Canada at the Olympic qualifying tournament this summer in Victoria.

Barrett finished with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. He and Mitchell Robinson led New York with 31 minutes played.

He and fellow Canadian Ignas Brazdeikis were honoured with a brief video package in the first quarter. Brazdeikis finished with two points in 10 minutes of play.

Barrett wore customized red sneakers that read “Made in Canada” on the sides, with Toronto’s skyline and maple leaves adorning the shoes.

Randle had 11 points as New York led by as many as 10 points in the first, but Terence Davis’s layup cut that to 29-21 by the end of the quarter.

An 11-3 Raptors run to start the second quarter was capped by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s putback of a rebound. He made a free throw to tie the game.

Siakam’s driving layup on Toronto’s next possession made it 34-32 with 8:18 left to play in the second. Toronto continued to dominate play in the quarter, taking a 58-46 lead into halftime.

Better shooting and stiffer defence was the difference for the Raptors between the first and second quarters. Toronto shot 34.6 per cent to start the game, but was a lights-out 56.5 per cent in the second.

They also limited New York to just 28.6 per cent shooting in the second.

Siakam tied his career-high for three-pointers with a jumpshot to make it 81-57 with 4:40 remaining in the third. He was fouled on Toronto’s next possession and chants of M-V-P rained down as he made two free throws.

The Raptors led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter and went into the final period with an 89-69 lead.

Toronto head coach Nick Nurse turned to his bench in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors continued to dominate, extending their lead by as many as 34 points. Toronto finished with 48.9 per cent shooting from field-goal range and made 51.2 per cent of three-point attempts.

Notes: Barrett had 300 friends and family among the sell-out crowd of 19,800 at Scotiabank Arena. … The Raptors wore their distinctive black and gold OVO city edition jerseys for the first time this season.

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