NEW YORK — As Jalen Brunson’s potential game-winning 3-pointer sailed by way of the air, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse had a transparent look at its trajectory.
And, because it arced in the direction of the basket, Nurse solely had one factor going by way of his thoughts.
“I simply sort of stated, ‘Please do not go in,'” he later stated with fun.
“[I] was simply hoping he was gonna miss.”
Fortunately for the Raptors, Brunson’s shot ricocheted off the again of the rim and into the air, permitting Toronto to flee with an exhilarating 123-121 additional time victory over the New York Knicks — one the Raptors tried to present away within the closing seconds of each regulation and additional time.
“We’ll take no matter we are able to get at this level,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet stated.
It was VanVleet’s mistake with 18 seconds to go within the fourth quarter that set in movement a chaotic closing few moments of regulation. After Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam each missed jumpers that would have given Toronto the lead, the shot clock turned off when Julius Randle grabbed the defensive rebound. But, somewhat than taking part in protection and forcing the Knicks to make a shot on the ultimate possession, VanVleet — who had an impressive recreation in any other case, ending with 33 factors, eight assists and only one turnover in 45 minutes — grabbed Brunson to commit a foul, giving New York two free throws consequently.
“I used to be simply attempting to ensure we obtained the final shot,” VanVleet stated with a smile. “I used to be simply attempting to ensure we obtained the final shot, and we’ll depart it at that.”
But, after Brunson cut up his two free throws, and VanVleet missed a 3 at the opposite finish, Barnes grabbed the offensive rebound, was fouled and made each free throws to place Toronto again up by one.
Then, after Brunson missed a possible go-ahead jumper and Barnes was fouled by Randle within the ensuing chase for the rebound, he made the primary of two free throws however missed the second, giving New York the ball again with 6 seconds to go.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau elected to not name timeout, and RJ Barrett — who grew up simply outdoors Toronto — proceeded to go coast-to-coast and throw down a large dunk over Barnes with 0.6 seconds left, sending the sport to an additional session.
“I assumed it was a hell of a play, and that is how the sport went,” Thibodeau stated. “Back and forth. Look, it was a fast turnaround for us, and we stored combating the entire recreation.”
That struggle from the Knicks prolonged all the way in which to when the sport regarded prefer it was firmly in Toronto’s management when the Raptors had the ball with underneath a minute to go and a six-point lead.
All that occurred then?
• Randle stole an OG Anunoby cross, drove the size of the court docket and was fouled whereas making a bucket to chop Toronto’s result in 4.
• Randle then missed the following free throw, and, after two Knicks offensive rebounds, Barrett was fouled and hit each free throws to chop the result in two.
• After Toronto ran the clock down, Precious Achiuwa missed a 3-pointer that New York grabbed the rebound from.
• And, lastly, on a quick break when Thibodeau once more elected to not name timeout, Brunson obtained the clear look at what would have been the game-winning shot.
“I simply [took] what the protection gave me,” Brunson stated. “I noticed him backing up, I noticed the time, and it is a shot I labored on on a regular basis. I assumed it was good.”
In the top, although, it was not, because the Knicks — who have been taking part in on the second evening of a back-to-back after profitable in Detroit on Sunday — fell to 11-12 at Madison Square Garden this season. The loss left New York because the NBA’s solely profitable crew to have a shedding file at dwelling, and considered one of solely six groups to have a sub-.500 file at dwelling.
Toronto, in the meantime, has now gained 4 of its final 5 video games and picked up solely its sixth street victory of the season — solely San Antonio (5) and Houston (4) have much less — because it tries to climb out of the underside of the Eastern Conference standings.
“I hope so,” Nurse stated, when requested if this might be a galvanizing win for the Raptors. “There’s been some actually tough stretches for us, and there is been a variety of video games the place we have not performed that nicely. But in saying that, there’s a variety of them we have performed rather well, in opposition to actually good groups at dwelling, on the street, wherever, that we have not come out on the proper aspect of a break right here or there and we might’ve picked a variety of these off.
“I believe, for me, we obtained to definitely have much less nights the place we’re simply, it does not appear to be we’re transferring, working very nicely or taking part in with tempo. Less of that and extra like this. I believe that we will be in with an opportunity to beat anyone, like we have been a month in the past. We have been taking part in some actually good basketball in opposition to some actually good groups in some actually powerful conditions, and we all know we’re able to doing that. So I hope we are able to simply come out and play with that sort of execution at each ends. Really strong, organized, collectively, all that sort of stuff.”