TORONTO — The player they call Deuce nailed his biggest treys of the season Friday night.
Miles McBride entered shooting just 25.4 percent from 3-point range this season, but the second-year guard buried two key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Knicks extended their lead to 13 before closing out a 112-108 win over the Raptors, their fourth victory in a row.
“I thought the start of the fourth, I thought our bench was terrific. … And I thought Deuce hit timely buckets for us,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s more of a scorer and we know he’s not gonna hesitate. And so I think the more he plays, the more comfortable, the more rhythm he’s gonna get. And I think the big thing is the team sharing, they do a great job.”
The Knicks led 89-82 early in the fourth, but McBride connected from deep on consecutive possessions with 9:04 and 8:23 remaining. He finished with nine points in 20 minutes, including 3-for-6 shooting from long distance.
In the absence of RJ Barrett with a finger injury, and with Jalen Brunson (hip) out for the Knicks’ recent three games in Texas, Immanuel Quickley has been in the starting lineup. He started Friday for the sixth straight game, three each at point guard and shooting guard. Quickley, who finished with 13 points in 37 minutes, has averaged 19.8 points and 6.8 assists in 41.8 minutes per game over that stretch.
“It’s great. He’s fantastic at it,” said Brunson, who played both point guard and shooting guard in Dallas alongside Luka Doncic. “Quick has the ability to kind of switch on and off, where he’s playing on the ball or off.
“I think my first four years, I had the same ability. But he’s way better than me when I was doing it. He’s really special.”
Obi Toppin was active but didn’t play for a second straight game. Thibodeau said the third-year forward is still being “ramped up” after practicing at 5-on-5 with contact Thursday with G-League Westchester.
“He’s getting close,” Thibodeau said of Toppin, who hasn’t played since he suffered a non-displaced fractured fibula on Dec. 7.
The deadline for the Knicks to guarantee the contracts of little-used reserves Ryan Arcidiacano ($2.13 million) and Svi Mykhailiuk ($1.97 million) for the remainder of the season is Saturday.