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Final: Blazers Knock Off the Knicks, 94-90

The Portland Trail Blazers' best players struggled to get into a groove all night against the New York Knicks. But despite multiple attempts to give the game away, the Blazers did just enough to win anyway.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazers were led by Nicolas Batum (20 points, 10 rebounds), Wesley Matthews (18 points, 7 rebounds) LaMarcus Aldridge (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists).

Box Score

First Half: We learned nothing new. We re-learned that Portland's starters are significantly better than the bench (which featured Leonard and Wright tonight). We re-learned that Carmelo Anthony can score buckets of points. We re-learned that neither team is a defensive powerhouse, though Portland did ok. We re-learned that some days, Mo Williams doesn't look good on the court. We re-learned that sometimes, Portland is just sloppy on the road. The Blazers somehow barely led at halftime anyway.

Portland 47, New York 46

Very frustrating to watch. Nico looks good though.
by gtbassett

Third Quarter: More of the same, as the Knicks quickly pulled ahead in the third quarter. But Carmelo couldn't keep scoring all their points, and Portland slowed down the New York offense. At the other end, Aldridge continued to miss shots, but his free throws were going down fine. When Dorell Wright hit three free-throws after a foul, the Blazers pulled ahead by double-digits.

So I was sitting in my living room and we were losing. I went to the kitchen to make myself dinner and the Blazers make a run. I come back to the living room and we can't score. I guess I'm watching the game from the kitchen.
by Blazing Chargers

Fourth Quarter: It took one minute for the Knicks to close to within 5 points. Then the Blazers promptly turned it over. They got a steal... then turned it over again. Soon the lead was down to 4 as the bench continued to struggle. Portland didn't score for their first 12 possessions, a disastrous run that pulled New York within 1. As the Knicks started missing shots, Portland had a shot to pull away again... then they started missing free throws. They held a 7 point lead with 5 minutes left, and 6 with 3 minutes left. The Blazers finally got a break, but Matthews missed a layup on the break. Batum's jumper pushed the lead to 7 with 2 minutes left, then made it 8 with a minute left. \

All over right? Of course not. The Knicks missed, but the Blazers gave up an offensive rebound, then a three, then they turned it over and promptly gave up another three, all in 14 seconds. Suddenly the lead went from 8 to 2 with 50 seconds left. Portland went to Aldridge, who pulled up for a turnaround on Tyson Chandler. Swish. With 35 seconds left, the Knicks gave it to Carmelo, but he was well defended in the lane and missed. Portland attempted to turn the ball over twice, but eventually realized they had two timeouts, and took one. The Knicks fouled with 15 seconds left, and the Blazers pulled ahead by 6... and Batum fouled Smith on a three-pointer at the other end. The Blazers seemed almost allergic to putting the game away. Lillard was fouled, and made one to finish it.

What's Next:

Another night off for the Blazers, who play in Indiana Friday night, another game on ESPN. Stay tuned later for more analysis of this game from Dave.

Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:

Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
10 T Darkstar Take a bite out of the Big Apple!
9 RipCityLifer! next time, just fax your comment in.
7 MiledAnimal I want the Blazers to beat the Knicks so bad that James Dolan hires Isiah Thomas just so he can fire him again.
7 Luke Bogue First!
7 Timmay! Why does LMA pass to Batum? If Batum wants it, he can take it himself.
6 williamswonder GO BLAZERS!
5 Timmay! With a tear in my eye, i think I spotted actual Blazer Basketball.
5 williamswonder Go Trail Blazers!!
5 annthefan Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!
4 eloi A can of Pringles can stay vertical and won't fall for bad pump fakes.
4 MiledAnimal Time for a few recap headline suggestions.
4 bustabucket Go Blazers!
3 T Darkstar Ball movement!
3 williamswonder quiz: what is felton most likely to drop fifty of?
3 MiledAnimal I like one thing about Felton very much:
3 RipCityLifer! Felton went to the floor, must be some corn nuts down there
3 Timmay! I'm a bit saddenned that ESPN is trying to have "small market Wednesday" on NBA coverage
3 MiledAnimal The core of that Big Apple team is rotten and wormy!