New York (14-30) at Toronto (16-30)

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Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Feb 3, 2006
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Both the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks are toiling well below .500, but one of them at least appears to be headed in the right direction.

Their paths cross for the second time in less than three weeks when the Raptors, seeking their third straight win, host a Knicks team which has lost nine of 10.

Giving up 81 points to Kobe Bryant in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was the start of a four-game skid for the Raptors, but they have bounced back to win home games against Sacramento and Washington.

Morris Peterson had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Toronto to a 124-123 overtime win over the Kings on Sunday. Chris Bosh scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on Wednesday in the Raptors’ 117-112 victory over the Wizards.

“Anytime we move the ball and share the ball as a team and get a high number of assists we’re tough to beat,” Bosh said.

The Raptors have averaged 21.0 assists, 9.5 turnovers and 50.0 percent shooting in their last two games, all improvements over their season averages

“It’s about finishing,” said Raptors guard Mike James, who had 29 points Wednesday and hit two 3-pointers in the final minute to seal the win. “Washington was doing all the right things … We just had to make plays.”

That’s something the Knicks have struggled to do lately.

They have lost three straight and have won only once in their last 10 games, a slide that began with a 129-103 loss to Toronto on Jan. 15. They’ve also dropped nine of 10 on the road.

New York was embarrassed on its home court Tuesday, getting routed 130-97 by the Lakers.

“We’re just not playing the same way we did,” Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury said. “We’re like two different teams. We have two different identities and we aren’t the same at all.”

Marbury has averaged 10.5 points—nearly eight below his team-leading average—over the last four games.

The Knicks’ latest rough patch follows a season-best six-game winning streak, during which they beat some of the league’s best teams—Phoenix, Dallas and Cleveland.

Rookie Channing Frye’s solid play keyed that win streak, but he’s been held to a total of 25 points on 7-of-24 shooting (29.2 percent) during the current three-game skid.

Seven of New York’s last nine losses have been by 11 points or more.

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