New York gave Portland more than it bargained for on the first game of a five game road trip, but the Blazers kept their winning streak against the Eastern Conference alive.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 11 rebounds, his eighth straight double-double, and Wesley Matthews had 18, including ten in the fourth quarter, as the Blazers defeated the Knicks 103-99 Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
LaMarcus Aldridge started the game hot, scoring seven of the Blazers first eleven points for an early advantage. The Knicks were held in check until Carmelo Anthony came underneath Nicolas Batum while he was shooting, causing Batum to roll his ankle. With Batum injured, Anthony took advantage to close the gap. Batum returned to action later in the quarter, and the Blazers led by five after one.
New York piled it on in the second, getting out to an 11-0 run as the Blazers shooting went cold. Portland recovered on a series of three-point shots by Dorell Wright, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews. Lillard scored seven in the period, and the Blazers led 53-50 at halftime.
Portland came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, extending their lead to eight. Some questionable calls got New York back within three, but Lillard, Batum, and Aldridge combined for 18 of Portland's 30 in the period and Portland led by eight after three, 83-75.
Wesley Matthews and J.R. Smith made the fourth quarter a shooting show, with both players scoring nine in the first half of the quarter. At that point, Portland's shooting cooled off, and New York took the lead back. But free throws by Aldridge restored control for Portland. New York was within three with under 30 seconds remaining, but the Blazers played great keep-away to secure the win.
Damian Lillard had 20 points, and Steve Blake had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night
[Derek] Fisher should wear a Lakers jersey so I recognize him better
The Blazers are such fun. Even for the opposition, except at the end.
Where is that jerk that used to play for us and now plays for the Knicks except when they play against us?
by Tyler Durrden
He's in Dallas now.
by Tyler Durrden
Trail Blazers hold off Knicks comeback bid for 103-99 win in New York. New York has lost 8 straight & 10 of last 11. pic.twitter.com/xeZfaAkgw0— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 8, 2014
Portland has won at least 16 of its first 20 games for the fifth time in franchise history (2013-14, 1998-99, 1990-91, 1977-78).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 8, 2014
The Trail Blazers have now won five consecutive games against the Knicks. #PORatNYK— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 8, 2014
LaMarcus Aldridge has collected 10 or more rebounds in eight straight games for the first time in his NBA career.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 8, 2014
Batum said he injured his right ankle in the first half ...said he's OK #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) December 8, 2014
Lillard said he really couldn't grip the ball, but fought through it....dropped 20 tonight #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) December 8, 2014