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Knicks fall to Raptors, 106-89

The New York Knicks' Shane Larkin, left, passes

The New York Knicks' Shane Larkin, left, passes the ball through teammate Langston Galloway's legs next to the Toronto Raptors' Greivis Vasquez, right, during the first half of a game in Toronto on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Credit: AP / Darren Calabrese

TORONTO - Derek Fisher stood up on the sideline as the Knicks went on a fast break, eager to see how they would finish it. When Shane Larkin shoveled a pass out of bounds, Fisher turned quickly, walked to the bench and sat down.

Fisher eventually got back up. The Knicks showed some life in trimming a 17-point deficit to six early in the fourth quarter. But what happened next was a familiar sight. The Knicks were outscored 12-0 in the next 2:15, never really recovered and fell to the Raptors, 106-89, on Sunday at Air Canada Centre for their 56th loss in 70 games.

The finish line is near. Only 12 games remain, but the Knicks say they are not looking forward to the end.

"Just try to go hard," Andrea Bargnani said. "Don't think about the standings, don't think about the situation on the court, just try to go hard, physically just push and try to do whatever you can do. Don't think about the standings, the tough situation."

Lance Thomas shot 9-for-12 and scored a career-high 24 points. Bargnani added 16 and Larkin had nine points and eight assists.

Former Raptor Bargnani was booed loudly when he was introduced and essentially every time he touched the ball. But he said he tuned it out.

"I'm cool," he said. "I don't have any comment about that. I'm very cool. That doesn't bother me at all.''

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points to lead the Raptors (42-28). Tyler Hansbrough had 18 off the bench and Jonas Valanciunas added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Toronto had lost 11 of 15 games entering the game, but the Knicks -- who will face the Grizzlies Monday night at the Garden -- usually are a good remedy for teams that are slumping.

The Raptors met little resistance and had six players score in double figures. They shot 52 percent (39-for-75) and scored 52 points in the paint.

Fisher, a five-time champion as a player and the all-time leader in career playoff games, continues to try to put a positive spin on the Knicks' struggles.

"Every game I played in I didn't win," he said. "Every season didn't end in championships. So it's kind of the tough times and the adversity that in a sense sharpen you for success. We're going through our process right now.

"We're redefining who we want to be and what kind of team we want to become, so you kind of have to go through some of these beginning stages. We'll get there if we put in the work necessary.''

Reflections of Nash. Fisher battled Steve Nash plenty in the Western Conference, and he praised Nash, who officially retired Saturday, for an outstanding career. "Steve I think is a great example of what being of high character and being a hard worker will do for you," he said. "It's remarkable the career he put together, the success he was able to have individually, how he led his teams. I think he should be extremely proud of what he's done. He has a tremendous legacy, one that I don't think any of us will forget.''

Notes & quotes: Alexey Shved left the game in the first half with bruised ribs and didn't return. The Knicks said X-rays were negative. Fisher said Shved is day-to-day . . . Travis Wear exited in the fourth quarter with back spasms. Jose Calderon (Achilles), Tim Hardaway Jr. (wrist) and Cleanthony Early (ankle) remain out . . . Ricky Ledo, signed Friday to a 10-day contract, had six points in 8:10 in his Knicks debut . . . Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry sat out because of a back contusion.


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