NBA regular season

Siakam sizzles for 52 as Raptors halt skid, end Knicks’ streak

Reuters
Siakam sizzles for 52 as Raptors halt skid, end Knicks’ streak

STREAK BUSTER. Pascal Siakam and the Raptors snap the Knicks' eight-game winning streak.

Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Pascal Siakam shatters his previous NBA career-high of 44 points to lead the Raptors to victory after six straight defeats

Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 52 points and sank the go-ahead free throw with 2:01 left for the visiting Toronto Raptors, who snapped a six-game losing streak and ended the New York Knicks’ winning streak with a 113-106 victory on Wednesday, December 21 (Thursday, December 22, Manila time).

Siakam’s 52 points shattered his previous career-high of 44 points, set three times previously, and was the eighth 50-point effort in the NBA this season. He was also the first player to score at least 50 points at Madison Square Garden since James Harden had 61 points for the Houston Rockets on January 23, 2019.

Siakam also added 9 rebounds and 7 assists in helping the Raptors snap the NBA’s longest active losing streak. Fred VanVleet had 28 points, including a three-pointer on the possession following Siakam’s go-ahead free throw. OG Anunoby scored 15 points and had the block that led to VanVleet’s three-pointer.

Julius Randle and RJ Barrett scored 30 points apiece for the Knicks, whose eight-game winning streak was the longest active run in the NBA. It was New York’s longest winning streak since a nine-game streak from April 9 to 24, 2021.

Randle finished with 13 rebounds while Immanuel Quickley had 20 points and Mitchell Robinson added 10 points.

Siakam scored 9 points to help stake the Raptors to a 28-27 lead after the first quarter. He then scored 17 points in the second quarter, when Toronto took a pair of 14-point leads and carried a 63-53 lead into halftime.

The Knicks opened the third with a 13-2 run in which Quickley drained a trio of three-pointers, including the basket that gave the hosts a 66-65 lead. Siakam then scored all the Raptors’ points in a quarter-ending 17-8 run to give Toronto an 87-80 lead heading into the fourth.

The Knicks scored the first 5 points of the fourth before the Raptors scored the next 9 points to go up 96-85. New York responded with a 17-5 run and took a 102-101 lead on Barrett’s driving dunk with 3:21 left.

The teams traded empty possessions and the Raptors missed a pair of three-pointers before Siakam was fouled by Jalen Brunson. After hitting both free throws, Anunoby blocked a shot by Barrett. The Knicks got no closer than 4 following VanVleet’s three-pointer with 1:36 left.

Siakam broke the 50-point barrier by driving three-quarters of the floor and converting an old-fashioned three-point play for Toronto’s final points with 15.9 seconds remaining. – Rappler.com

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