The New York Knicks had visited Toronto six times before and always left with a victory. That changed Sunday with their first appearance in the Raptors' new arena.
Vince Carter had 23 points and grabbed a key offensive rebound in overtime just as Toronto had done all day as the Raptors won a franchise record fifth straight game with a 85-81 victory over the Knicks at the Air Canada Center.
Former Knick Charles Oakley, who did not score in regulation, made a jumper in overtime to put the Raptors up by five and added a pair of free throws with 7.6 seconds left following Carter's offensive rebound to put the game out of reach.
"It seemed like I was struggling with the ball all game," said Oakley, who finished with 12 boards. "I was just glad I hit that shot."
Toronto outrebounded New York 65-44, including 31-10 on the offensive glass. As for Toronto's three other ex-Knicks, John Thomas had 13 points, Doug Christie had 12 points and 10 rebounds and John Wallace added 12 points off the bench.
"If Toronto hadn't killed us on the boards and we hadn't missed free throws (16-for-25), we probably we would have won the game," said Patrick Ewing, who led the Knicks with 21 points and 15 rebounds, including 12 defensive boards, and five blocked shots.
Allan Houston had 17 points, while Chris Childs had 12 off the bench as the Knicks lost to the Raptors for only the second time (11-2).
"It's the same things that have plagued us all year," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Our inability to rebound, turnovers and crucial missed free throws."
Carter, who struggled with his shooting through most of the game, had four points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in overtime. Overall, the rookie had 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and shot 7-for-24.
"Right now, we feel unstoppable," Carter sid. "I couldn't hit anything, so I did it other ways."
Carter missed two outside jumpers in the final seconds of regulation with the score tied 75-75. He almost made up for it when the Knicks turned it over with fractions of a second left and Carter barely missed a shot from 70 feet.
The Raptors also extended their home winning streak to five games and are 7-2 at their new arena, 8-4 overall at home.
"It's totally different (in the new arena)," said Carter of the fans. "They're enthusiastic and loud (compared to the cavernous SkyDome)."
Marcus Camby, making his first appearance in Toronto since being dealt to New York for Oakley, received a smattering of boos from the crowd whenever his named was called. He fouled out 1:10 into overtime and finished with six points and four rebounds.
The Raptors struggled from the field, going 31-for-102 (30.4 percent), but made up for it on the offensive boards.
Notes: Kevin Willis (shoulder) did not dress. ... Raptors forward Sean Marks, the first New Zealander to play in the NBA, was also part of the Oakley-Camby deal. ... This was the Knicks' only visit to Toronto this season. The teams hook up one more time at Madison Square Garden on April 17. ... This was the second game of the Knicks' third back-to-back-to-back set. ... The Raptors are beginning their second back-to-back-to-back set after going 3-0 last week.
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