Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now

New York at Toronto

Knicks clinch playoff berth with win over Raptors

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

TORONTO -- When the New York Knicks signed Kenyon Martin last month, they hoped the veteran big man might help them with a playoff push.

Left short-handed by a rash of frontcourt injuries, the Knicks are suddenly counting on Martin more than they ever imagined. Best of all, he's coming up big.

More on Knicks-Raptors
Related links
Video
More NBA coverage

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, Martin had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Knicks clinched a playoff berth with a 99-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

"He means a lot to this team right now," Anthony said of Martin, his one-time Denver teammate. "We need him coming down the stretch."

Making his fifth straight start, Martin connected on his first nine field goal attempts, not missing until 1:40 remained in the fourth quarter.

"He stepped up big time," New York coach Mike Woodson said. "He scored for us, he rebounded, had a few blocks. He did a little bit of everything."

Veteran guard Jason Kidd, who once played with Martin in New Jersey, said the 35-year-old has been an invaluable addition following injuries to big men Amare Stoudemire (right knee), Tyson Chandler (neck), Kurt Thomas (right foot) and Rasheed Wallace (left foot).

"He's a true professional," Kidd said. "If we didn't have him we would be in trouble right now. He's playing big on both ends."

Out of basketball before the Knicks came calling, Martin said he considers himself "blessed" to be back on the court and playing for a contender.

"I just tried to stay ready," he said. "An opportunity came for me to come out and play. It's unfortunate that it's because of injury, but I'll take it."

J.R. Smith scored 14 points as the Knicks earned their 41st win. That guaranteed they'll reach the playoffs for the third straight season, something they hadn't done since a 14-year streak of postseason appearances from 1988 to 2001.

With 15 games left and playoff seeding still undecided, Woodson doesn't want his team easing up.

"We can't have any slippage, no matter who we play, because Brooklyn is not going anywhere and Boston is not going anywhere," Woodson said.

The league's second-leading scorer, Anthony has 57 total points in his past two games after missing six of the previous eight with a sore right knee. His 43 minutes were about 10 more than Woodson had hoped he'd play, but Anthony wasn't complaining.

"I'll take on that challenge, I love that challenge, I want that challenge," he said. "I wanted to see what I could do, especially being out and not playing the way I know how to play."

The defeat was a double blow for Toronto, which lost for the 11th time in 15 games and saw forward Rudy Gay leave in the second with a sore back. Gay did not return, and his status for Saturday night's rematch in New York was not known.

Alan Anderson scored a career-high 35 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and Jonas Valanciunas 10 as the Raptors lost their third straight. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 10 assists.

Down by 14 points midway through the third, the Raptors rallied to make a game of it in the fourth. A three-point play by DeRozan cut it to 84-82 with 6:17 left, but Anthony answered with a three-point play of his own, keying a 10-2 run that put the Knicks up 94-84 with 4:00 remaining.

A putback dunk by Terrence Ross cut it to 97-92 with 39 seconds left and, after Smith missed a pair of free throws, Anderson made two from the line, making it 97-94.

Anthony was fouled and made the first but missed the second, giving the Knicks a four-point edge. Kidd grabbed the rebound when Ross's 3-point heave came up short, and capped it by making one of two from the line.

Chandler (neck) did not travel with the team, remaining in New York for treatment. Woodson said he doesn't know when Chandler, who last played March 13, will be cleared to return. The Knicks had earlier said they expected Chandler to miss about a week.

Raymond Felton's banked 3 gave the Knicks a 25-15 lead with two minutes left in the first but Anderson scored five straight points as the Raptors cut it to 25-22 after one.

Gay headed to the locker room with a sore back at 7:04 of the second and the Knicks pulled away. Anthony and Kidd each scored six as New York outscored Toronto 25-15 to open a 50-37 lead at the half. The Raptors made five of 20 field goal attempts in the quarter.

"We just had a lot of open misses," Anderson said. "We weren't swinging the ball from side to side like we did in the previous two games against them."

Anderson matched a Raptors record with 20 points in the third and Toronto made five of nine from 3-point range, but a turnaround, buzzer-beating 3 by Anthony gave the Knicks a 77-71 lead heading into the fourth.

Notes

  • Stoudemire, Thomas and Wallace also skipped the trip to Toronto.
  • Iman Shumpert started for the New York after sitting out the second half of Wednesday's win over Orlando with a sore left knee.
  • Mike James was the last Toronto player to score 20 in a quarter, doing it in the fourth against Detroit on Apr. 14, 2006.
  • Woodson expressed his sadness at the death of former Knicks captain Ray Williams, who died Friday at the age of 58. "It's a major loss," Woodson said. "He's a part of our Knicks family."
  • Actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. attended the game.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Carmelo Anthony scores 37 points to tally 57 over his past two games after missing six of eight with a sore knee.  (USATSI)
Carmelo Anthony scores 37 points to tally 57 over his past two games after missing six of eight with a sore knee. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
New York (41-26) «2525272299
Toronto (26-43)2215342394
NY:C. Anthony 37 Pts
NY:K. Martin 11 Reb
NY:J. Kidd 3 Ast
TOR:A. Anderson 35 Pts
TOR:J. Valanciunas 7 Reb
TOR:K. Lowry 10 Ast
Players of the Game
New YorkToronto

Carmelo Anthony

Alan Anderson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
37613563
New York
C. Anthony, SF4314-317-1161437
R. Felton, PG422-61-23327
K. Martin, PF369-101-2110319
I. Shumpert, SF172-20-03305
P. Prigioni, PG101-10-00232
J. Smith, SG385-103-753314
J. Kidd, PG312-51-25337
M. Camby, C120-20-05040
S. Novak, SF62-20-02105
C. Copeland, SF51-20-00023
K. Thomas, PFDid Not Play
R. Wallace, PFDid Not Play
T. Chandler, CDid Not Play
A. Stoudemire, PFDid Not Play
J. White, SGDid Not Play
Totals 38-7113-2440162499
 53.5%54.2% 
Toronto
L. Fields, SF394-60-04229
K. Lowry, PG353-80-011059
D. DeRozan, SG357-143-332218
J. Valanciunas, C315-60-171110
R. Gay, SF142-70-03124
A. Anderson, SG3611-187-863435
T. Ross, SG192-101-21045
A. Johnson, SF172-50-06024
J. Lucas, PG130-50-02010
M. Pietrus, SGDid Not Play
S. Telfair, PGDid Not Play
L. Kleiza, SFDid Not Play
A. Bargnani, CDid Not Play
A. Gray, CDid Not Play
Q. Acy, SFDid Not Play
Totals 36-7911-1433192394
 45.6%78.6% 
Other Games
Mil 78 Final
Ind 102
OKC 97 Final
Orl 89
Port 104 Final
Atl 93
Det 89 Final
Mia 103
Mem 83 Final
NO 90
Cle 78 Final
Hou 116
Bos 94 Final
Dal 104
Utah 97 Final
SA 104
Min 117 Final
Pho 86
Wash 103 Final
LAL 100