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NEW YORK (AP) - Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, and the Toronto Raptors rallied for a 95-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
The Raptors trailed by 12 points in the third quarter, but outscored the Knicks 29-12 in the fourth to take the opener of the home-and-home series.
Kyle Lowry had 15 points and 11 assists for the Atlantic Division leaders, who host the Knicks on Saturday with a chance to extend their lead to five games over last season's division champions.
Andrea Bargnani had 18 points and 12 rebounds against his former team. Beno Udrih finished with 15 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who played again without Carmelo Anthony because of a sprained left ankle.
Anthony was hurt Monday and had hoped to play against Oklahoma City on Christmas, but instead might be out until the new year. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Anthony likely wouldn't travel with the team to Toronto for the rematch.
The Raptors won for the fourth time in their last five road games, this one adding to their recent impressive fourth-quarter performances on the road. The Raptors started the final period with an 11-0 run in an overtime victory at Dallas on Dec. 20, then outscored Oklahoma City 29-14 on Sunday while handing the Thunder their first home loss.
John Salmons' 3-pointer gave Toronto the lead for good with 8:07 left, and DeRozan followed with a jumper. After J.R. Smith's basket, Salmons made another 3 before Valanciunas scored to make it 81-75.
Valanciunas had a three-point play that made it 91-81 with 2:01 remaining.
Despite playing without Anthony and point guard Raymond Felton, the Knicks jumped out to a strong start and led most of the first quarter. Toronto fought back to take a 37-36 lead with 3:17 to go in the second, but the Knicks outscored the Raptors 13-3 the rest of the half, with Smith's second 3-pointer during that span coming with 4.5 seconds left and giving New York a 49-40 lead.
The Knicks extended it to 61-49 on Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 3-pointer with 7:17 remaining in the third, but the Raptors had it down to 71-66 by the end of the period before controlling the fourth.
NOTES: Saturday's game is the last of 2013 for the Knicks, who are off until visiting San Antonio, Houston and Dallas from Jan. 2-5. ... Woodson wouldn't comment on an ESPN.com report that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan met with the team Thursday and told players there were no trades or coaching changes forthcoming. Knicks forward Metta World Peace, who played despite a sore left knee, said he wasn't there and couldn't comment because he was an alien. "I was in another galaxy yesterday with my galactic friends," he said. ... Toronto and New York will have played eight times in 2013. The Raptors only faced Orlando once.
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