The Raptors and Knicks came into Wednesday as two teams going in opposite directions, with Toronto having lost six straight while New York was riding an eight-game winning streak into their matchup at the Garden.
Both of those streaks came to an end in a 113-106 Raptors win that was a back-and-forth affair that saw Toronto come out ahead thanks largely to the performance of Pascal Siakam. The All-NBA forward set a new career-high with 52 points, becoming the latest opposing player to have a monster night in Manhattan, while also pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
A career night for Pascal Siakam:
52 PTS (career-high)
Raptors win in MSG. pic.twitter.com/j4pOldXvzX
— NBA (@NBA) December 22, 2022
Siakam was in attack mode throughout the night, as the Knicks simply had no answers for his assault on the paint. Only Fred VanVleet (28 points) and OG Anunoby (15 points) joined Siakam in double figures for the Raptors, but that was still enough to out-duel a pair of 30-balls from Julius Randle and RJ Barrett to get Toronto a desperately needed win.
It’s the second straight big scoring night for Siakam, who had 38 in an overtime loss to the Sixers on Monday, and him getting going will be paramount to Toronto making a run back into the playoff picture in the East, as this win moved them back to 14-18. Even so, the lack of help beyond VanVleet and Anunoby is a recurring theme for the Raptors, and they have some decisions to make about whether they need to be active on the trade market as the deadline approaches and what direction they want to take this team. For tonight at least, the vibes were pristine in the Toronto locker room thanks to Siakam, and a glimmer of optimism is peeking back through for Raptors basketball.