NEW YORK — No big shots from Rudy Gay on this night. He hardly made any shots at all.
Neither did Carmelo Anthony, bothered by what he called a dead arm after being hit in the biceps early in the game.
Toronto won the battle of supporting casts, and the game. Reserve Alan Anderson scored 26 points in one of the few good offensive performances for either team, and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks 92-88 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory. DeMar DeRozan added 20 points for the Raptors, who overcame a 4-for-21 performance from Gay because Anthony was just as bad.
“It feels good, the fact that my teammate Double-A stepped up. And DeMar does what DeMar does,” Gay said. “But on a night where I couldn’t throw a fish in the water, it feels good to still get a win.”
Anthony finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds but shot 5 of 24 for the Knicks, who dropped their final two games leading into the All-Star break.
“He got hurt early in the game, he caught an elbow to his biceps and he really couldn’t shoot the ball the way he really wanted to,” J.R. Smith said. “I think that affected our game because we’re not used to seeing Melo go through slumps like that, but at the same time we’ve still got to play defence.”
Smith led the Knicks with 26 points. Raymond Felton had 16 but shot 3 of 9, while Amare Stoudemire was 4 of 13 and had one particularly ghastly miss from right at the basket on his way to 10 points.
Anthony said he was hurt early in the game when he was hit by DeRozan’s elbow, causing a deep contusion that caused numbness. He said he will wait to see how it feels before determining if he can start as scheduled in Sunday’s All-Star game.
Gay finished with 11 points one night after hitting the go-ahead basket with 4.9 seconds left in a victory over Denver. That was his second such basket in three games since his trade from Memphis, but the Raptors had to look elsewhere this time for someone to pick them up in a game that was poorly played and poorly officiated.
They found it in Anderson, who finished a point shy of his career high.
“Rudy’s a gamer,” Anderson said. “Any time, any second in a game he can get off and start running buckets off. Once teams try to focus on him, that opens up for me, DeMar, everybody.”
Kyle Lowry and John Lucas III both had 12 points, Lucas playing most of the second half after Lowry was ejected.
The Knicks shot 35 per cent and settled for an ugly finish to their best first half in 16 years. They lost three of their final four games and take a 32-18 mark to the All-Star break.
It’s the first time the Knicks have had 30 wins before the break since the 1996-97 season — well beyond the usual expectations, since they never won more than 33 in an entire season from 2004-05 through 2009-10.
But this was a disappointing effort, blowing a double-digit lead at home against a sub-.500 team that was playing on the second of back-to-back nights.
“I really can’t pinpoint it. We just haven’t been playing our game the way we know how to play offensively, some games it’s defensively,” Anthony said. “We seem that we can’t put a whole 48 minutes together the last couple of games.”
The biggest problem was Anthony, who scored 42 points Sunday against the Clippers in his fifth 40-point game of the season. He looked frustrated and lethargic at times, and just couldn’t make anything even when he appeared into the game.
“As a team, we concentrated on him, made sure we close out,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We did a good job of sprinting out.”
The Knicks led 18-14 after one, then scored 10 straight midway through the second to take a 38-27 lead. Toronto cut it to five at halftime, then outscored New York 28-18 during a marathon third quarter, when five technical fouls were called.
Lowry picked up two of them for arguing and was ejected.
The Knicks were 4 for 21 (19 per cent) in the third and made only 9 of 16 at the free throw line.
Notes: The Raptors made a late change to the starting lineup, inserting former Knicks guard Landry Fields so he could defend Anthony. Fields received mostly polite cheers, with some boos sprinkled in. … Former Knicks centre Patrick Ewing, the franchise’s career scoring leader, sat next to Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, the Knicks owner. … Lowry was ejected for the first time in his career.