Knicks takeaways from Friday's 112-108 win over Raptors, including Julius Randle's big first quarter

Jan 6, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) react against the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena.
Jan 6, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) react against the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena. / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks got their first win in Toronto since 2015 and Tom Thibodeau earned his 100th career win with New York as they took down the Raptors 112-108 on Friday night.

With RJ Barrett still sidelined, Thibs' starting five consisted of Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.

Here are the takeaways...

- Randle had his best start to a game all season, as the big man made five three-pointers to put the Knicks up 19-13 midway through the first quarter. The five threes tied his personal-best for threes in a quarter, and was one shy of the Knicks record held by Quentin Richardson (Nov. 11, 2008).

Brunson created space and hit a mid-range jumper, but the Raptors came right back with a three and then stole it from Brunson as Gary Trent Jr. dunked it home with 26 seconds left to cut the Knicks lead to 30-26. Randle finished the quarter with 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting plus two free throws and five rebounds. Trent Jr. had nine and Fred VanVleet scored seven in the quarter for the Raptors.

- Isaiah Hartenstein scored on a tip-in to open the second, but then took an accidental slap to the face on the defensive end and the Knicks called timeout to regroup. The center stayed in the game and got a steal that led to a Deuce McBride three-pointer. Randle and Quickley scored on two straight possessions as the Knicks went on a 7-0 run to go up 41-28. Robinson used his size down low to score over Scottie Barnes and then Brunson hit back-to-back threes as the Knicks went up 49-32 with 5:27 left in the half.

- Grimes took advantage of Toronto's zone defense, as he found space thanks to a Jericho Sims screen and made his second three of the night. Brunson connected with Robinson on the inbound play for the alley-oop jam to push the lead to 54-39. The Raptors finished the half strong and trailed just 57-47 at the break. Randle scored only three points in the second quarter, but the Knicks still outscored the Raptors 27-21. New York shot 52.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three (10 made), and held Toronto to 40.5 percent shooting and just 25 percent from deep.

- The Raptors started the third on a 12-4 run to make it a one possession game, but Randle came back with a two-hand dunk to push the Knicks lead to 61-56. Trent Jr. and Grimes traded threes, and after a VanVleet bucket, Grimes hit another three to go up six. The Raptors did all they could to keep it a close game, but Brunson made his third three of the night to go up 79-72. VanVleet banked in a three as the shot clock expired and then went 1-for-2 at the foul line to cut the lead to one, but Quickley drew a foul with the clock winding down, and the Knicks led 81-78 after three.

- New York opened the fourth with a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 11. Barnes scored four straight to cut the Knicks lead and force Thibs to call timeout with about nine minutes left. McBride made back-to-back threes to extend the gap and Randle hit a pullup jumper to give the Knicks a 99-87 lead. Brunson nailed a baseline jumper over VanVleet to give him 20 points on the night and to go up 16 with 4:03 remaining.

- Toronto didn't give up easily and trailed by just four, 107-103, after a Pascal Siakam three with 48 seconds left. Thibs was forced to call another timeout after a 14-2 run. Randle made one of two at the foul line, and Trent Jr. made a tough three to cut the lead to two, but Brunson scored inside and was fouled, as he completed the three-point-play to make it 111-106 with 22.8 seconds left. The Villanova guard then made another free throw to put the game out of reach.

Randle finished with 32 points on 10-for-22 shooting, including 6-for-11 from three, to go along with 11 rebounds and three assists. Brunson ended with 26 points on 9-for-19 shooting with eight assists and five boards. Robinson recorded 10 points and 18 rebounds (eight offensive), Grimes scored 16 points and Quickley had 13, five rebounds, and four assists.

Highlights

What's next

The Knicks get the weekend off and will return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.