Pregame: 5 Things to Know - Knicks Conclude West Coast Trip in San Antonio
1. On Thursday night, the Blazers scored 37 points in the first quarter and never looked back in a 110-95 victory in Portland. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 30 points to lift Portland to a win that evened the season series between the two teams. Kristaps Porzingis dropped 18 points, nine rebounds, and swatted three shots in the defeat.
2. New York featured a shorthanded lineup on Thursday as Carmelo Anthony (sore left knee), Derrick Rose (sore right foot), and Lance Thomas (sore right hip) were unavailable. To counter the loss of two starters, head coach Jeff Hornacek started Ron Baker, Courtney Lee, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Porzingis, and Willy Hernangomez.
3. Thomas will not suit up tonight in San Antonio, missing his second straight game due to the sore hip. Rose said he’ll test his sore foot at shootaround but the point guard is expected to return to the lineup. Anthony will most likely be sidelined for the road trip finale.
4. The Spurs won their third straight game on Thursday with a 97-90 victory over the Grizzlies. San Antonio improved to 55-16 on the season while it chases the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Currently, the Warriors hold the top spot with a 58-14 mark, 2.5 games over the Spurs heading into Saturday’s contest.
5. On February 12, the Knicks recorded arguably their best victory of the season by knocking off the Spurs 94-90 at Madison Square Garden. With Latrell Sprewell in the house, New York clamped down on the defensive of the floor, limiting San Antonio to just 36 percent shooting from the floor. Anthony scored a team-high 25 points in the win, Porzingis hit 3-of-5 from the 3-point line, and Rose recorded 18 points.
by Jonah Ballow