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Bargnani, Raptors blow past Knicks

Feb 25, 2008 - 2:43 AM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

TORONTO (Ticker) -- Andrea Bargnani and the Toronto Raptors were able to hold home-court advantage as Toronto defeated the New York Knicks, 115-92, on Sunday night.

The Raptors and Knicks were playing the second half of a home-and-home against one another, with New York defeating Toronto, 103-99, on Friday night in New York.

Bargnani scored a team-best 25 points and All-Star Chris Bosh added 17 for the Raptors, who have now won nine of their last 12 games at home.

"I tried be more aggressive from the beginning," said Bargnani, who was limited to only five points on Friday night in New York. "We moved the ball very well and most of our shots were wide open and that was the key."

Toronto led by two at the break but opened the third quarter on an 18-3 run, with a barrage of 3-pointers by Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker to build a 72-55 lead with 7:35 left in the quarter.

Parker's jumper late in the third gave the Raptors an 84-64 bulge before David Lee hit two shots to spark an 8-0 run for the Knicks early in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 86-75.

But that would be as close as New York would get as T.J. Ford chipped in with a few key baskets and, after a bank shot by Bosh with under seven minutes to play, Toronto had a 94-77 lead.

"We were able to spread the floor and set good screens," Bosh said. "Anytime I was doubled, I was able to kick it out and we were able to find the open man. It's a lot easier for us when Andrea (Bargnani) gets it going."

Ford, who is still getting his legs under him after missing 24 games with a neck injury, scored 15 points off the bench and Primoz Brezec chipped in 11 in his first game with Toronto.

The 15 points were the most that Ford had scored since returning on February 4.

"The starters did a great job, so I knew I'd get a chance to play the whole quarter in the fourth," Ford said. "I was able to get in the zone and get some quality shots."

"You can always use some new intensity and I liked what I saw from Primoz tonight," Bosh said.

Toronto led for nearly the entire first half, but could not pull away from New York. Jamal Crawford, who had 43 in Friday's win, scored 16 points through the first two quarters as the Knicks only trailed, 54-52, at intermission.

"To be down only two points at the half on the road against a team like that was good," Crawford said. "They were aggressive and hit shots in the beginning of the third quarter and we had to play catch-up after that."

Crawford finished the game with 26 points, while Nate Robinson scored 20 for the Knicks, who were outrebounded, 51-36.

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