The short-handed Knicks fell to a Blazers team in pursuit of the final spot in the Western Conference playoff race on Thursday night. Without Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, and Lance Thomas, New York simply could not match Portland’s offensive firepower. The Blazers jumped out to a 37-23 lead as the Knicks featured only two true startesr in Kristaps Porzingis and Courtney Lee. Willy Hernangomez has been in and out of the starting group since Joakim Noah’s injury. Behind a combined 50 points from Portland’s backcourt of Damian Lillard (30) and C.J. McCollum (20), the Blazers cruised to a 110-95 victory. With the win, Portland evened the season series after New York captured a home victory on November 22. The Blazers improved to 33-38 and a half game behind the Nuggets for the coveted eighth spot out West.
Knick of the Night:
Porzingis was the high-scorer for the Knicks with 18 points. He also snatched nine boards and swatted three shots in 37 minutes of action.
Lee finished with 16 points, Mindauguas Kuzminskas added 14, and Hernangomez grabbed eight rebounds.
News and Notes:
Anthony did not suit up due to a sore left knee but the All-Star does not have a serious injury and is expected to return to the lineup in the near future. Rose suffered the foot injury in Utah on Wednesday night. X-rays were negative on Rose’s foot and there is no timetable for his return. Thomas was listed with a sore right hip.
The Blazers connected on 52.4 percent behind the arc and finished 48.8 percent from the floor in the home victory.
The Knicks will have the day off to recover from the back-to-back contests against Utah and Portland. On Saturday night, New York will conclude the west coast trip with a game in San Antonio. Watch all the coverage on MSG Network.
by Jonah Ballow