Raptors fall as Knicks win ninth straight

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NEW YORK — The last time the Knicks had a winning streak this long was also the season of their last playoff appearance.

They might be surging toward another one.

Julius Randle had 31 points and 10 rebounds, RJ Barrett had 25 points and 12 boards, and the Knicks beat the Raptors 120-103 on Saturday for their ninth straight victory.

The Knicks are on their longest winning streak since a 13-game run late in 2012-13, when they won the Atlantic Division title. “We’re peaking, but we can still get a lot better,” Randle said. “Offensively we’re playing well, but defensively for a full 48 minutes I feel like we can be a lot better.”

The Knicks have moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 games remaining.

Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby each scored 27 points for the Raptors, who were trying for a season-high fifth straight victory. The entered the day tied for 11th in the East, a game behind the surging Wizards for the final play-in position in the East.

Pascal Siakam had 26 points for the Raptors, but Kyle Lowry was 1-for-10, missing all eight of his 3-point tries.

There were 14 lead changes in the first three quarters, and neither team led by more than nine before the Knicks opened the fourth with a 14-3 spurt. The Knicks finished shooting 56 percent from the field, 51.6 percent from 3-point range.

“It was weird,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I told the team in the locker room (at halftime), ‘We really executed things pretty well,’ and then it didn’t work out. I guess it was just, again, they made (shots), we didn’t make them.”

— By BRIAN MAHONEY

TORONTO (103): Anunoby 9-16 3-4 27, Siakam 8-19 5-6 26, Birch 4-5 0-2 8, Lowry 1-10 2-2 4, VanVleet 10-20 2-2 27, Gillespie 1-2 0-0 2, Trent Jr. 2-8 0-0 4, Watanabe 1-3 0-0 3, Flynn 0-0 2-3 2. Totals 36-83 14-19 103.

NEW YORK (120): Bullock 6-10 1-1 16, Randle 10-17 6-8 31, Noel 0-1 1-1 1, Barrett 8-16 6-7 25, Payton 2-6 0-0 4, Gibson 4-5 1-1 9, Toppin 3-5 0-0 9, Quickley 2-5 0-0 6, Rose 7-10 5-6 19. Totals 42-75 20-24 120.

Toronto 26-33-24-20 — 103

New York 30-34-24-32 — 120

3-Point Goals—Toronto 17-44 (Anunoby 6-11, Siakam 5-9, VanVleet 5-10, Trent Jr. 0-4, Lowry 0-8), New York 16-31 (Randle 5-7, Toppin 3-4, Barrett 3-7, Bullock 3-7, Quickley 2-4). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Toronto 33 (Birch, Lowry, Siakam 7), New York 44 (Barrett 12). Assists—Toronto 31 (VanVleet 11), New York 20 (Rose 7). Total Fouls—Toronto 19, New York 17. A—1,981 (19,812)