Portland Trail Blazers demolished the New York Knicks, handing them one of their worst defeats this season. Terry Stotts guys were ruthless at their Moda Center, posting a blowout against the poor opponents, 115-87.
It was the 10th victory of the season for the Blazers, who are still far away from the playoff zone. At the moment, the team that reached the Western Finals previous season is 12th in the conference standings. However, this match easily went in their favor.
“Those kinds of games feel good,” said Stotts.
It was the first match Carmelo Anthony played against the team where he spent 7 seasons. The veteran forward would end the night with 16 points in 25 minutes, without overloading, same as any of the other Trail Blazers’ players. Melo was very pleased the way his team played defense, and praised Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside.
“Dame came out and led us, Hassan played great, but I thought overall defense was what got us going. We were talking, we were active, a lot of energy on the defensive end.”
Everything Knicks did was a 7-2 opening, which was, in fact, the only time they had a lead in this contest. Once Portland reached that and went ahead, there was no way back for them in this one.
Eight unanswered points they’ve scored to end the first period brought them a double-digit lead, 32-22. Throughout the second quarter, Stotts’ guys had a 16-4 run to pull away to +21, 60-39, and since then they would only increase the lead, which would eventually reach 32 points.
“First half we set a lot of good screens, and had a lot of assists, create a good scoring opportunities. Did a nice job against their offensive rebounding,” Stotts explained how his team god the lead in the first place.
It was with 3:01 to go in the fourth, following Nassir Little’s alley-oop dunk, which gave the Blazers a 108-76 advantage over the sorry opponents, who aren’t looking good, even though they fired David Fizdale just a few days ago.
Damian Lillard led the way among the hosts with 31 points in 29 minutes, shooting threes 8 for 12. Dame would also post 6 dimes, to go with that. Hassan Whiteside recorded a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds, adding 5 rejections.
“Damian had a nice rhythm to his shoots, I thought he did a nice job of managing the game,” Blazers’ coach told about his No.1 player.
Anfernee Simons scored 16 off the bench, while CJ McCollum contributed with 13 buckets.
— NBA (@NBA) December 11, 2019
On the other side, Julius Randle had a team-high with 15 points. Mithcell Robinson scored 14 off the bench, while Alonzo Trier had 13. The Knicks would have an awful shooting night hitting 32 of 91 field-goal attempts, 35.2%. In 38 shots behind the three-point line, just 7 went in.
“In an 82-game schedule you may have some nights where it won’t go in, and we found ourselves in that,” Miller said.
Meanwhile, on the other end, the Blazers made 17 threes in 41 tries, and were 39 for 90 from the floor. Also, the home team outrebounded the visitors, 58-47.
This was the last of four straight games at home for Portland, who posted two wins and losses during that period. They will now head for a two-game journey, which kicks-off this Thursday in Denver, and continues in Phoenix on Monday.
On the other side, the Knicks posted their 20th defeats since the season began. With only 4 wins, they are the worst team in the league. The game against the Trail Blazers was the first of four they have on their road trip through the West. Up next, they meet the Warriors already tomorrow, the Kings and the Nuggets.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.