NBA Basketball

Knicks riding rare high ahead of trip to Toronto

The New York Knicks scored a dramatic 124-123 win over LeBron James and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, which shows that there can be highlights even in the most dismal of seasons.

The Knicks, who have the worst record in the league at 14-56, will try to improve on that rare success Monday night when they visit the Toronto Raptors, the NBA's second-best team at 49-21.

The Raptors, who easily handled the Lakers on Thursday night, are coming off a 110-107 loss on the road to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

The Raptors will be facing a Knicks team on a high after Mario Hezonja blocked a shot by James with 2.3 remaining to seal the win. The Knicks rallied from an 11-point deficit with 3:45 to play to end an eight-game losing streak.

"They were pumped," Knicks coach David Fizdale said. "All of them were pumped for Mario, since he has been going through his ups and downs.

Lance Thomas, the longest-tenured Knick, is familiar with the way the season is ending but said there is a difference this time.

"Right now we're building,"' Thomas told the New York Post. "We're trying to keep our guys fighting, building a culture and having guys finish the season the right way.

"This is the first season since I've been a Knick where everyone's been completely focused on the season. What we're doing is definitely working... from a team standpoint. I'm definitely looking forward to the future."

That has not always been the case, according to Thomas.

"There's been instances where the losing takes a toll on certain guys,"Thomas said. "With this team here, obviously the record isn't what we want it to be, but the morale is high."

Fizdale said Dennis Smith Jr. (sore back) and Noah Vonleh (sprained ankle) are day-to-day.

Meanwhile, the Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who missed 12 games with a thumb injury, scored 17 points in his return. But that was not enough against the Pistons, whose coach, Dwane Casey, was fired by the Raptors at the end of last season. The Pistons swept the three-game series with the Raptors for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The Pistons outscored the Raptors 32-23 in the fourth quarter. Toronto has lost four of its past seven games.

With Kyle Lowry out for the second straight game with a sprained left ankle and questionable for Monday, Jeremy Lin started at point guard Sunday with VanVleet coming in off the bench.

"What do we miss when we don't have Fred out there? We miss a pretty solid shooter, we miss an offense organizer, we miss a good communicator on D, and one of my favorite things is he seems to be a bit of a bail-out bucket-maker," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "When things aren't going well in the offense or when the shot clock's running late, he can fill in a few of those buckets for us, too."

Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and had 10 rebounds Sunday, but he has not been playing both ends of back-to-back games this season.

Serge Ibaka will not play Monday as he completes his three-game suspension for fighting in Monday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Raptors have won both games against the Knicks this season.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 18, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NHL
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan State   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 0
San Francisco 7 F
Boston 6
Tampa Bay 5 F
Los Angeles 7
Seattle   7:05pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   7:10pm
Boston  
Tampa Bay   8:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Los Angeles 0 F
New York 8
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 5
Detroit 2 F
Cleveland 7
Chicago 8 F
Minnesota 9
Texas 1 F
Houston 4
Kansas City 1 F
Oakland 2
Kansas City   3:37pm
Oakland  
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:10pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   7:40pm
Minnesota  
Texas   8:10pm
Houston  
National League
Philadelphia 5 F
Atlanta 4
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 3
Washington 6 F
St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 4 F
Chicago 2
New York 6 F
Colorado 1
Miami 12 F
Arizona 6
Washington   1:15pm
St. Louis  
New York   3:10pm
Colorado  
Miami   3:40pm
Arizona  
Philadelphia   7:20pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   7:40pm
Milwaukee  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   Thu 8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Teams Score Time
Ottawa 3 F
Toronto 1
Buffalo 1 F
Columbus 4
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 2 F/OT
New York 3
Chicago 3 F
Detroit 5
Dallas 2 F/OT
Minnesota 1
Vegas 5 F
Colorado 0
Anaheim 4 F
San Jose 3
Edmonton 2 F
Vancouver 4
Los Angeles 4 F
Arizona 1
Arizona 5 F
Los Angeles 0
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
New Jersey   7:00pm
New York  
St. Louis   7:00pm
Washington  
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Toronto   7:30pm
Ottawa  
Minnesota   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Detroit   8:30pm
Chicago  
San Jose   9:00pm
Calgary  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9