Notebook: Trail Blazers 105, Knicks 90



Posted Mar 15, 2013 2:40 AM

Kerry Eggers, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Damian Lillard scored 26 points and passed out 10 assists, LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds and J.J. Hickson added 12 points and 16 boards as Portland polished off the Knicks 105-90.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers (30-34), who won for only the fifth time in 17 games.

J.R. Smith came off the bench to bomb in 33 points for the Knicks (38-27), who lost their third straight to start this five-game road trip. New York was playing without its front-line stars Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, all missing due to knee injuries.

QUOTABLE: "Without those three -- not to say we're supposed to beat them, because they're still a good team -- but if you can catch a team like that on your homecourt, you want to win the game. We were able to get it done."
-- Damian Lillard, who became the first Blazer rookie since Calvin Natt in 1980 to score 20 points in eight straight games

THE STAT: New York shot .615 the first quarter (13-for-21) to gain a 30-22 lead. The Knicks shot .370 (23-for-61) and were outscored 83-60 the rest of the way.

TURNING POINT: The Knicks led 48-38 with three minutes left in the second quarter. Then the Blazers, with Lillard leading the way, made their move, closing the half on a 13-0 roll to go into intermission ahead 51-48.

QUOTABLE II: "It was a game we definitely should have won. We're up 10 with two minutes left in the [first] half and they go on a 13-0 run. That's a heartbreaker."
-- J.R. Smith

HOT: Smith rained in 11-for-21 shots from the field, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range.

NOT: Hickson, who entered the game fifth in the NBA in field-goal percentage at .574, was 5-for-14 from the field.

GOOD MOVE: Portland coach Terry Stotts initially tried to go small to match up with the Knicks, who put on a pick-and-roll clinic early. Late in the second quarter he went back to Aldridge and Hickson together, and the Blazers started to click.

BAD MOVE: Ex-Blazer Raymond Felton kissed the sky as he was being booed during pregame introductions.

QUOTABLE III: "Maybe we relaxed a little bit, because they had no Melo, no Amare, no Tyson. Maybe we thought it was going to be easy. But the other [Knicks], they can play. We had to play, too, if we were going to win."
-- Portland's Nicolas Batum

NOTABLE: Felton, who finished with 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting, on the nasty reception he got from the Rose Garden throng: "It was what I expected. They booed the whole time. It was funny. It made me laugh."... Hickson has 36 double-doubles, Aldridge 30 this season. ... Lillard's eight-game streak of scoring 20 or more points is the longest by a Portland rookie since Calvin Natt in 1980. Lillard is the fatest rookie to reach 1,200 points and 400 assists since Allen Iverson in 1996-97. ... Anthony, who left Wednesday night's 117-94 loss at Denver with a sore right knee, had his right knee drained in New York Thursday. "He said it felt pretty good and that he is going to come out to L.A. (where the Knicks face the Clippers on Sunday) to be with the team and be evaluated," New York coach Mike Woodson said. "When he's going to play again, I don't know." Chandler, who left the Nuggets game with a knee contusion, is day to day.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Sunday @ L.A. Clippers, Monday @ Utah, Wednesday vs. Orlando. For the Trail Blazers, Saturday vs. Detroit, Monday @ Philadelphia, Tuesday at Milwaukee.