Knicks halt 9-game series losing streak against Raptors

Julius Randle finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists to help the Knicks end a nine-game losing streak against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in New York.

The Knicks won their second in a row despite letting an 18-point third-quarter lead slip away to the Raptors, who had won the past four meetings between the teams at Madison Square Garden.

Trailing 98-96, the Raptors had a chance to take the lead when Kyle Lowry intercepted an errant pass by Alec Burks. Lowry passed the ball to Pascal Siakam, who then double-dribbled on his drive to the hoop, turning the ball back over to the Knicks with 11.8 seconds left.

Randle proceeded to hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the outcome.

Malachi Flynn scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter, and he appeared to give Toronto a 90-83 lead with a 3-pointer, but the score was overturned after an official review determined he stepped out of bounds as he took the shot. The Knicks responded with a 9-0 run and didn’t trail again.

The Knicks, a 38.1 percent 3-point shooting team entering the game, overcame a 9-for-35 shooting performance from long distance due to a challenging Raptors zone defense.

RJ Barrett finished with 19 points and five assists while Elfrid Payton and Derrick Rose each had 11 points. Reggie Bullock also had 10 points and four steals. Nerlens Noel had nine points and 13 rebounds, and was a factor for New York on defense with four blocks.

Coming off a career-high 44 points in his previous game, Gary Trent Jr. led the Raptors again with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Siakam and Lowry also returned to the Raptors’ lineup as expected. Siakam made only one of his first 11 shots, and went 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 16 points and seven assists. Lowry totaled 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Chris Boucher had 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Toronto played without Fred VanVleet, who was out with left hip flexor strain, and OG Anunoby, who rested on the second day of a back-to-back.