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Knicks Destroy Trail Blazers in Carmelo Anthony’s Return to MSG

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Melo looked great on New Year’s Day. The Blazers, not so much.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers opened up 2020 just where they left 2019, with a sub-par effort against a struggling team and another loss. The New York Knicks triumphed over Portland on New Year’s Day 117-93. Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points on 11-17 shooting on his return to Madison Square Garden, but Damian Lillard shot only 5-20 for 11 points.

Paint Points

New York scored in the lane early and often. They rang up 54 points inside, many of them off of Mitchell Robinson slams. The center went 11-11 for the game en route to 22 points.

Which Star?

Anthony appeared to eat up the adulation of the New York crowd, reprising his greatest post-up hits like he was Billy Joel on tour. Elton John had already left the building in the form of Lillard’s 25% success rate from the floor, including 12.5% from the arc on 8 attempts. The yin and yang did not balance. Portland’s offense looked slow and, in the fourth period, utterly predictable.

Defense...

Tonight was a statistician’s dream for the Knicks. In addition to their paint scoring, they shot 39% from distance, well above their mediocre season average. 105 of New York’s 117 points came from the arc, the key, or the foul line. The only places the Blazers stopped them were places they didn’t want to be anyway.

Up Next

Boxscore

The Blazers travel to the nation’s capitol to face the Washington Wizards on Friday at 4:00, Pacific time.