On that day that David Stern passed away, the Portland Trail Blazers traveled to the city of New York to take on the lowly Knicks. Not sure if I can really write that since the Blazers aren’t really all that much better than the Knicks at the moment. They have better ownership and a better front office, but on the court, they are basically the same.
Tonight the Knicks pounded the Blazers into submission, 117-93.
This was the first time in over a year that Carmelo Anthony had stepped foot in MSG as a player. He started off the game in prime Melo fashion, getting to his spots on the floor, knocking down jumpers, finding cutters, cutting himself and got himself a quick ten points. CJ McCollum also started the game hot. Damian Lillard wasn’t as hot.
The Knicks were sluggish until Mitchell Robinson checked in and he and Hassan Whiteside started to battle like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. There was no answer for Robinson in the first half. He was 8-8 and scored 16 in the half with six rebounds. Whiteside did not back down and got himself 13 and 7. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good old donnybrook in the low post like that. Lots of shoulders to the chest, push outs, clashing, and the like.
I love today’s game, but it is great to see some old school basketball like that from time to time.
And there was a possession late in the second half when RJ Barrett tried to guard Melo at the top of the key and Melo backed him — no banged him down — into the low post and scored over the top of him in the paint. Melo literally bullied him 15-18 feet to get to the spot he wanted. This was the third time he did this in the game in some form. The Knicks are not doubling Melo and they might have to think about it.
The Knicks took a 51-48 lead into the half. Damian Lillard was 1-10 in the first half.
Lillard started the third quarter hitting a jumper off a curl. The next two possessions after that he had wide open threes that were not even close. Marcus Morris had two open shots that he knocked down. He was 0-8 up to that point and the Knicks went up 62-54.
Carmelo Anthony started to kick it up a notch here, abusing the Knicks all over the Garden, working the Blazers back to a 65-65 tie. Morris, Julius Randle, and Elfrid Payton all took turns on Melo and not a single one of them could stop him. They even started shading Robinson toward him and it did not matter.
Through three quarters all of Lillard’s shots are short.
The fourth quarter wasn’t much to speak of. Before the Knicks blew the game wide open the Knicks bench had outscored the Blazers 58-5. The Blazers were outscored in the fourth 34-16. Carmelo Anthony had 26 points, Whiteside and CJ McCollum each had 17, and Lillard had 11.
Blazers play the Wizards on Friday at 7:00 PM.