New York Knicks (3-10) lose their 6th game in a row, falling to the red-hot Portland Trailblazers (13-2) on the road 102-91. Trailblazers win their 11th game in a row and they currently hold the second best record in the West.
This season, Knicks have struggled to put in full four quarter performances, which explains why they’ve been losing. Based on their road performances, Knicks usually come out strong in the first two quarters, then fade in the 3rd quarter. This time around, they decided not to show up for the 1st quarter and that is where the game was lost.
Many times in the 1st quarter, Knicks weren’t rotating their defense and were leaving wide open lanes for the Blazers to penetrate. There was also confusion on some of the switches made, which led to wide open threes. Blazers were able to open up a 16 point lead going into the 2nd quarter, 34-18. Nicolas Batum had a huge quarter, scoring 13 points on 4-5 shooting from the field, including 2-3 from 3-point range.
At the end of the half, the Knicks were trailing by 17 points, 56-39. Knicks only shot 39.5% on the field, and they allowed their futility on offense dictate the way they played on defense. The team didn’t hit a 3-point shot the whole half, and they allowed the Blazers to shoot 49% from the field and outscore them in the paint 26-12.
The 3rd quarter which has usually been detrimental to the Knicks, actually was fruitful to them as they began to mount a comeback. With 4:02 left in the 3rd, Carmelo Anthony finds Amar’e Stoudemire rolling to the basket to cut the lead to 10, 71-61.
Blazers were able to put the lead back up to 16, going on a 8-2 run, but the Knicks cut back into the lead before the end of the 3rd quarter. Anthony hit a deep three with 00.9 left on the clock to cut the lead to 12, 81-69.
Early in the 4th, Andrea Bargnani hit a three to put the Knicks within seven, 81-74. Blazers responded by going on a 9-0 run; Wesley Matthews hit a three, and on the next possession, Damian Lillard hit a midrange jumper to push the lead.
With 1:47 left to go in the 4th, Anthony hits a floater in the paint and draws a foul on Matthews; he hit the free throw to bring the Knicks within seven again, 98-91. On the next possession, Damian Lillard hits a midrange jumper to push the lead back to nine, and with 45.8 seconds left, he hit a floater to put the Blazers up by 11 to lead his team to victory.
The next game for the Knicks is against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. There are some positives the Knicks can take out of this game, but the most important thing is that they have to find a way to play a full game of basketball. Knicks need a win and if they can score one on the road against the Clippers, it would do a lot to boost their confidence.
Carmelo Anthony had a monster game, scoring 34 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. His three assists in the 3rd quarter helped spark the Knicks comeback. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points and 6 rebounds.
J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert had mediocre games which hurt the team. Smith had 6 points off of 2-8 shooting. Shumpert finished the game with 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, and the Knicks were a -22 with him on the court.