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Trail Blazers Fall to .500 with Loss in New York: Post-Game Roundup

This game was particularly close, so one might be happy with the effort, but at the end of the day, the Trail Blazers took their fourth loss in eight days.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers racked up their fourth loss in five games on Tuesday, falling to Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks.

This afternoon, the NBA released their L2M report for the last two minutes of last night’s game. The referees made two errors, both favoring the Knicks, including a key one in the final seconds:

00:15.3 [Uncalled] Turnover: Traveling [on] Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis (NYK) moves his pivot foot.

If called correctly, this would have given Portland possession of the ball down two, and Derrick Rose would not have had the opportunity to finish off the Blazers with a jumper.

Meanwhile, the brightest spot for the Trail Blazers was Ed Davis, who started his third-straight game in place of the injured Al-Farouq Aminu (calf) and tallied 14 first-half points before a quiet second half, but the team’s overall defensive play was familiarly lacking and execution was spotty at crucial moments. They will have to pull themselves together to hang with the Cavaliers tonight.

Davis, like his teammates, was frustrated with the loss, having given a solid effort.

— video via CSN NW

Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes:

Rose's late bucket was the biggest shot of the night, but the Blazers' defense had betrayed them long before Rose final jumper.

The Blazers had no answer Kristaps Porzingis, who finished with 31 points and nine rebounds. He knocked down jumpers from virtually every spot on the court and used his 7-foot-3 frame to carve out a few easy buckets inside.

Portland had trouble guarding pick and rolls and struggled to slow the Knicks in transition early, but had enough firepower on the other end to stay in the game until the waning seconds.

Trail Blazers digital reporter Casey Holdahl notes that the game was tight the whole way through:

The Trail Blazers are now 8-8 on the season, 4-5 on the road and 1-3 in their current five-game road trip.

Unlike Sunday’s game, in which the Trail Blazers were able to pull away from the Nets in the second half to come away with a blowout victory, Tuesday’s game versus the Knicks was a close affair for most of the evening. While Portland was able to build an early nine-point lead in the first quarter, neither team would lead by more than five in the second half. In the end, Tuesday’s game would feature 20 lead changes and 11 ties, belying how close the two teams are at this point of the season.

The Trail Blazers need to turn things around quickly if this season is to be a success for them. Games won and lost early on count just the same as games in March and April, and sitting at .500 one month into the season does not inspire confidence; especially with Western Conference teams like the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Oklahoma City Thunder outperforming expectations in what could be a crowded scrum for 4-8.