The Knicks had an interested onlooker sitting courtside at the Garden for their next-to-last game, one they wouldn’t mind having on their team next season.
University of Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, the projected No. 1 pick in the June draft, sat in the front row and watched the Knicks fall, 110-97, to the Raptors on Sunday afternoon.
The Knicks (30-51) would need to get lucky and win next month’s draft lottery or at least jump into the top two for a chance at Fultz or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball. The Knicks, owners of the sixth-worst record in the league, could use a point guard.
There was another one at the game. Former Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury sat almost directly across from Fultz at the other end of the court. Marbury received a nice ovation when he was shown on the Jumbotron.
Fultz has been making the rounds lately. He was at a 76ers’ game in Philadelphia this week and a Washington Wizards’ game. Fultz is from the D.C. area.
The Knicks close out this disappointing season Wednesday at home against the 76ers in what could be the last game of Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks’ career.
Anthony didn’t play Sunday with what the Knicks called a sore left knee. He has missed six of their last 10 games. The Knicks are expected to try to trade Anthony this offseason.
Kristaps Porzingis (sore lower back) sat for the fourth straight game and may not play Wednesday.
The Knicks played well for three quarters and led by as much as 11 points. But they fell apart in the fourth.
The Raptors were up 76-75 heading to the fourth and pulled away. They went ahead by 18 en route to their 50th win of the season.
Rookie Willy Hernangomez matched his career high with 24 points to go with 11 rebounds. Courtney Lee added 14 and Mindaugas Kuzminskas 12. Rookie guard Ron Baker had 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
DeMar DeRozan led Toronto (50-31) with 35 points on 11-for-15 shooting. He shot 13-for-15 from the foul line, matching the Knicks’ total free-throw attempts. Raptors guard Kyle Lowry finished with 17.