The two teams square off Saturday in Toronto.
Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led five Toronto players who scored in double figures with 25 points. Center Jonas Valancinuas had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, point guard Kyle Lowry added 15 points and 11 assists, and forward John Salmons and guard Terrence Ross dropped in 11 points each.
Facing his former team for the first time, Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Bargnani, averaging just 8.3 points in the last three games, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft and spent his first seven years of his career with Toronto before getting traded to NEW YORK during the summer.
Toronto claimed its fourth win in its last five road games with another recent impressive fourth-quarter road performance. The Raptors started the final period with an 11-0 run in an overtime victory at Dallas on Dec. 20, then outscored Oklahoma City 29-14 on Sunday while handing the Thunder their first home loss.
"I think we like playing with each other more on the road, now we have to figure a way to take it home," said Lowry. "We got them (NEW YORK) tomorrow night on our floor and we got to find a way to take what we did these last four road games and take it to our home place."
"We had good shots, you know we had some good looks, and just didn't make shots," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson of the fourth-quarter collapse. "I played guys in long stretches based on the fact that we were short handed and I rode the guys that got us the lead and I'm not using excuses.
"I kind of thought the legs set in at the end and shots just weren't falling. For the most part, I thought defensively we were pretty solid until the fourth quarter, giving up 29 points compared to the 26 and 22 and 18 in the first three quarters so defensively I thought we were pretty solid."
"Eventually we'll get healthy and we'll see how it all plays out," said Woodson. "The beauty about all of this in what we're going through is that nobody is running away with our division."
NOTES: The Knicks were without G Raymond Felton (strained right groin) and G Pablo Prigioni (right toe fracture). ... The Knicks entered the game 29th in the league in rebounding, averaging 39 a game and were outrebounded by Toronto 50-42. ... PG Kyle Lowry averaged 21.7 points in the Raptors' previous three games. ... The Raptors' next 11 games come against teams in the East, with only three of the matchups coming against teams that are currently above .500 (Pacers twice, and Heat). ... The Knicks are now 4-11 at home.