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Friday, December 27, 2013
Halftime Report: Knicks 49, Raptors 40

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- Here are some observations from the first half of Friday's Raptors-Knicks game:

Aggressive Andrea: Andrea Bargnani played one of his best halves as a Knick.

He had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes.

Maybe playing his first regular-season game against his old team, the Toronto Raptors, gave Bargnani a little something extra tonight.

Toronto drafted Bargnani first overall but dumped him in an offseason trade with the Knicks after several uninspiring seasons.

J.R. Swish:
With Carmelo Anthony out for the second straight game due an ankle injury, the Knicks need extra offense from J.R. Smith. That didn't work out well on Christmas Day, as Smith shot 8-for-22 in 38 minutes. But the reigning Sixth Man award winner seems to have found his shot.

Smith is 4-for-6 for 11 points. He also has three assists and four rebounds. Included in those four makes was a rainbow 3-pointer off the dribble over Kyle Lowry late in the second quarter to give the Knicks (9-19) a nine-point lead.

Rookie rollin': Tim Hardaway Jr. continues to impress. He's been very aggressive with his shot all season long. On Friday, he was quick to fire when open from beyond the arc. The Knicks coaching staff had to like that approach as Hardaway shot 2-for-3 from deep.

The Knicks are outscoring the Raptors by eight in his 17 minutes on the floor.

The Knicks are shooting just 41.5 percent from the floor but are holding Toronto to 37.8 percent from the field, including 4-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc.

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