TORONTO -- — Jalen Brunson had 22 points, Josh Hart scored 15 of his 17 in the third quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Toronto Raptors 119-106 on Friday night to match a season high with their third straight win.
Julius Randle had 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as New York improved to 10-0 against teams with losing records. The Raptors are 9-11.
Led by Randle, the Knicks matched a season best with 30 assists.
“Once we got our defense going, I loved the way we played offensively,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I thought we really shared the ball, made plays for each other and really played well as a team. It was great to see.”
“They were able to spread the ball to the wings and continue moving the ball to create good looks,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said.
Playing their fifth back-to-back of the season, the Knicks swept both games for the second straight time. They also did it at Washington and Charlotte on Nov. 17-18.
“We’re the kings of the back-to-backs,” Thibodeau joked.
New York outscored Toronto 52-25 in bench points.
“Our bench was terrific,” Thibodeau said. “We got good, solid performances from everybody.”
The Raptors shot 6 for 32 from 3-point range. Barnes finished 3 for 7 from long range but no other Toronto player made more than one 3-pointer.
“You cannot play the game without shooting from the 3-point line,” Rajakovic said. “We’ve got to just continue putting work in and believe that you’re gonna make them.”
The game was tied 57-all at halftime but Hart scored 15 consecutive points for the Knicks in the third as New York outscored Toronto 33-20 to take a 90-77 lead into the fourth.
“We’ve had some trouble in the third quarters, so that was a good sign for us,” Brunson said.
Hart said he didn’t know about his consecutive points streak until someone told him after the game.
“I had no idea,” he said. “I wish I did, because boy, I would have started jacking. I would have tried to make it 20, 25.”
Friday’s meeting was the first between the teams since the Knicks sued the Raptors in August, alleging that Toronto conspired to steal thousands of videos and other scouting secrets. The Raptors called the lawsuit “baseless” and “a public relations stunt by the Knicks” in an October court filing.
Wearing a Knicks vest and an orange knit cap, actor and director Spike Lee watched from a baseline seat.
Knicks: Visit Milwaukee for an NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday night.
Raptors: Host Miami on Wednesday night.
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