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No fans to cheer it, but VanVleet scores season-high 35, Raptors beat Knicks

Toronto Raptors vs New York Knicks

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 2: Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) asks the ref a question after a call. Toronto Raptors vs New York Knicks in 2nd half action of NBA regular season play at ScotiaBank Arena. Raptors won 120-105. Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Star via Getty Images

TORONTO — Fred VanVleet scored 19 of his season-high 35 points in the third quarter, Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors extended their home winning streak against the Knicks to 11 games by beating a depleted New York team 120-105 on Sunday.

OG Anunoby scored 14 points, Scottie Barnes had 13 and Chris Boucher 12 as the Raptors won back-to-back games for the first time since home wins over New York and Sacramento on Dec. 10 and 13.

Evan Fournier scored 20 points and RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin each had 19 for the Knicks, who lost their second straight after winning the previous three.

After scoring a season-low 80 points in Friday’s loss at Oklahoma City, New York topped 100 points for the first time in four games.

The Raptors played before a mostly empty arena for the second straight game after Ontario’s provincial government reduced capacity limits to a maximum of 1,000 people in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. No tickets were sold, and only friends and family were allowed entry.

Barnes returned after missing Friday’s win over the Clippers because of a sore right knee. He sat out the previous two games while in the health and safety protocols.

Fournier returned for New York after missing Friday‘s loss because of a sore right ankle, but the Knicks were without starters Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, who joined Nerlens Noel, Jericho Sims, and Wayne Selden in health and safety protocols.

Another starter, guard Kemba Walker, sat for the second straight game because of a sore left knee.

VanVlet shot 11 for 17 and made a season-high seven of his 13 attempts from 3-point range. He went 6 for 6 at the free throw line and finished with five rebounds and five assists.

Toronto made its first five shots of the game, then missed 11 of its next 16 to finish the first quarter. VanVleet scored 10 points in the first as the Raptors led 30-27.

The Raptors extended their lead with a 15-1 run to begin the second, and led 56-45 at halftime. New York shot 5 for 14 in the second.

VanVleet’s big third quarter along with nine points from Siakam sent the Raptors to the fourth with a 96-74 lead.

Toronto shot 15-for-22 in the third. That was one fewer made baskets than the Knicks had in the first half.