Sports

McBride helps Knicks cruise past Raptors 145-101

TORONTO – Rookie forward Gradey Dick is proving he can score in the NBA, but he’d be happier if his Toronto Raptors could get a win.

Dick had a career-high 23 points as Toronto was routed by the New York Knicks 145-101 on Wednesday for the Raptors’ 12th consecutive loss.

The 44-point differential was the worst home loss in franchise history, surpassing a 139-98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on March 5 in Toronto’s first game of the losing skid.

“It’s not as much about points when we get a tough loss like this,” said Dick, whose previous best was 22 points at New Orleans on Feb. 5. “But you take away the loss in the game, and think about me as a rookie, and what I’ve been trying to achieve as my dream as a little kid, it is cool to think about, that I was able to put up some points.

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“At the same time, it really doesn’t mean anything without a win.”

Centre Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a game where Toronto (23-50) never held a lead.

The already depleted Raptors lost guard Ochai Agbaji to injury within the first six minutes of the game.

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Agbaji was injured trying to convert an alley-oop pass from Olynyk. The 23-year-old guard missed the dunk and fell hard on his tailbone, immediately putting his hand on his lower back as he writhed on the floor in obvious pain.


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He had to be helped to the locker room and did not return to the game with a right hip contusion. A spokeswoman said Agbaji’s X-rays came back negative but team doctors would continue to monitor him.

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“For a second it was really scary because he could not move at all,” said Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic. “It was just great to see him to be able to walk off the floor and I hope that it’s nothing serious.”

Agbaji’s injury added to Toronto’s lengthy inactive list.

All-star forward Scottie Barnes (left hand fracture), centre Jakob Poeltl (left hand torn ligament), swingman RJ Barrett (personal reasons), point guard Immanuel Quickley (personal reasons), forward Chris Boucher (partial MCL tear), guard D.J. Carton (right ankle sprain) and Jontay Porter (personal reasons) were already out.

“I’m learning a lot this whole year. I’m learning a lot. Just different situations that we are facing night in and night out,” said Rajakovic, who’s in his first year as an NBA head coach. “We did not plan for Ochai to get injured in the first quarter.

“It’s just like how to continue staying competitive in those games is the most important thing for me. And finding ways to improve.”

Miles McBride scored 29 points and had seven assists as New York (44-28) won its third straight. Jalen Brunson added 26 points and seven assists.

“You can’t waste any time with (Brunson) because you look away just one second and he could be going around you,” said the 20-year-old Dick. “But in my situation, it’s amazing for me and I need that.

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“I always talk about at my age, but at my age, that’s what I need as a rookie.”

Former Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa had a double-double off the bench for 19 points and 13 boards in his first game back in Toronto since he was dealt to the Knicks on Dec. 30.

New York head coach Tom Thibodeau has played Achiuwa at both power forward and centre. He already has seven-foot Mitchell Robinson, seven-foot-one Isaiah Hartenstein and six-foot-10 Jericho Sims available to play the five.

“Precious has played really well at both positions,” said Thibodeau. “So that’s been an added bonus.”

ANUNOBY & ACHIUWA — OG Anunoby and Achiuwa were honoured with video tributes in the first quarter. Toronto traded the pair Dec. 30 to the Knicks for Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., and Quickley. Only Achiuwa played Wednesday. Anunoby was recovering from elbow surgery and both Barrett and Quickley were inactive for personal reasons.

UP NEXT

The Raptors continue their homestand Sunday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Knicks travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2024.

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