This time, there was no need for a huge comeback, no near-melee to inspire them. But the result Monday at the Moda Center was the same: a win for the Trail Blazers, this time a 102-91 victory over the floundering New York Knicks that left the announced 19,939 fans jubilant, even if there was room for improvement. The feats keep coming for this team, which won its 11th game in a row, tying for the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise’s 43 years. At 13-2, the Blazers have tied for the second-best record after 15 games in franchise history with the 1999-2000 team, and are second only to the 14-1 start for the 1990-91 team that won 63 games. On this night, the Blazers didn’t need to battle back from 21 points behind, as they did in beating Chicago 98-95 on Friday, or use a big altercation, like the one that happened Saturday at Golden State, as a rallying point of another win. This time, the Blazers simply outclassed the struggling Knicks, who are hindered by injuries and lost their sixth consecutive game. But Portland left the arena with plenty to work on, too. Nicolas Batum had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists, LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points, 14 rebounds and three assists, and Damian Lillard chipped in 23 points and six assists for the Blazers. This one seemed practically over at halftime after the Blazers played a dominant first half and led 56-39 at the break, a reversal of the Chicago and Golden State games. “One of the things we’ve been concerned about was how we’ve started games, especially defensively,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I was really pleased with the way we set the tone in the first quarter at the defensive end, and we maintained that throughout the first half.” The Blazers held New York to 39.5 field goal shooting in the first half while seemingly scoring at will at times as the Knicks seemed either incapable or not interested in playing defense, and the Blazers repeatedly got uncontested shots. The Blazers got so little resistance, they scored 26 points in the paint in the first half. They entered the game last in the NBA in the category at 33 per game and finished with 40, tying a season high with their win at Brooklyn. The Blazers were up 34-18 after the first quarter, their biggest lead of the season at that mark, and their 17-point halftime lead also was a season-high lead.
Blazers lead big early and beat Knicks for 11th victory in a row, but with room to grow
Oregonian | Nov 26