TORONTO — Friday night, the basketball star nicknamed “Deuce” made his three-point shots of the season.
Miles McBride began the game shooting just 25.4 percent from 3-point range this season, but the second-year guard sank two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Knicks stretched their advantage to 13 points and defeated the Raptors, 112-108, for their fourth consecutive victory.
“I thought the beginning of the fourth quarter and our bench were fantastic… And I believe Deuce made key baskets for us,” said coach Tom Thibodeau. “He is primarily a scorer, and we know he won’t hesitate. Consequently, I believe that the more he plays, the more comfortable and rhythmic he will become. And I think the most important aspect is the team’s cooperation; they do an excellent job.”
The Knicks led 89-82 early in the fourth quarter, but McBride scored on consecutive 3-point attempts with 9:04 and 8:08 remaining to narrow the deficit to 89-82. He scored nine points in 20 minutes, including three-of-six long-range attempts.
Due to the unavailability of RJ Barrett (finger injury) and Jalen Brunson (hip injury) for the Knicks’ last three games in Texas, Immanuel Quickley has started. On Friday, he started his sixth consecutive game, three each at point guard and shooting guard. Quickley scored 13 points in 37 minutes and has averaging 19.8 points, 6.8 assists, and 41.8 minutes per game throughout this span.
“It’s terrific. Brunson, who played both point guard and shooting guard with Luka Doncic in Dallas, praised Doncic’s talent. “Quick has the ability to move between playing on the ball and off the ball.
“During the first four years of my life, I had the same skill. However, he is far superior to me when I was performing it. He is very remarkable.”
Obi Toppin was active but did not participate in a second consecutive game. Thibodeau stated that the third-year forward is still “ramping up” after Thursday’s 5-on-5 practice with contact with G-League Westchester.
Toppin has not played since suffering a non-displaced fibula fracture on December 7. Thibodeau stated, “He’s getting closer.”
The deadline for the Knicks to guarantee the contracts of little-used reserves Ryan Arcidiacano ($2.13 million) and Svi Mykhailiuk ($1.97 million) for the remainder of the season is Saturday.
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