Rapid Reaction: Raptors 92, Knicks 88

WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks are in first place in the Atlantic Division and stand second in the Eastern Conference heading into this weekend's All-Star festivities.

But they'll enter the break with a bad taste in their mouths after what happened at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

The Knicks lost to Toronto 92-88, thanks to some porous perimeter defense and a poor shooting night from their star.

The Knicks allowed Toronto to hit nine of 21 3s, including four of six in the third quarter.

Carmelo Anthony, who entered play Wednesday tied with Kevin Durant for the league lead in scoring (29 points per game), was held to 12 points on Wednesday and missed eight of 10 shots in the fourth quarter.

Overall, Anthony shot 5-for-24 on the night.

This is just the third game this season in which Anthony failed to score at least 20 points.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: The Knicks trailed by nine with a little over 10 minutes to go in the game, but Anthony cut the deficit to three with a 3-pointer with 2:50 to play.

He had a steal on the subsequent possession but blew the layup.

With a minute to play, J.R. Smith missed a layup that would have cut the lead to two.

ALAN WRENCH: Alan Anderson killed the Knicks all night. He hit six 3s, three of which came in the third quarter, and helped Toronto outscore New York by 10 in the quarter. He scored a game-high 26.

This was Landry Fields' first trip to MSG since signing a three-year, $20 million offer sheet that New York didn't match.

Fields had 4 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay finished with 11 points on 4-for-21 shooting and DeMar DeRozan had 20.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES: The refs were more than happy to hand out technical fouls on Wednesday.

It started when Anthony was whistled for a technical for arguing a call in the first quarter.

In the third, Tyson Chandler picked up a tech for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas.

Aaron Gray then drew the ire of the refs for yelling at Chandler from the Toronto bench. Felton yelled back at Gray. Both players picked up technicals.

Later in the third, the Knicks caught a break when Kyle Lowry was tossed for picking up two technical fouls for arguing a call.

SMITH STEPS UP: Smith struggled on Sunday, scoring just six points on 1-for-9 shooting.

He bounced back on Wednesday to tally 26 points and hit five of 10 3s.

Ray Felton had 16 points and 5 assists. Amar'e Stoudemire scored 10 points. Jason Kidd was held scoreless.

EWING IN THE HOUSE: Ex-Knicks great Patrick Ewing was at the game, seated next to Knicks owner James Dolan. Ewing got a rousing ovation from the Garden crowd upon his introduction in the fourth quarter.

WHAT'S NEXT: Anthony, Chandler, Steve Novak and James White will head to Houston to represent the Knicks in the All-Star Game. Anthony and Chandler will play in Sunday's game and Novak (3-point contest) and White (dunk contest) will represent the Knicks in the skills competition.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.