The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t break a sweat against the New York Knicks, as they routed the worst team in the league, 115-87.
However depressing the Trail Blazers difficulties have been this season, at least we’re not the Knicks.
New York at home could not have come at a better time for the Blazers, as the squad needed a blowout win to find their rhythm. Tuesday night provided just that, as Portland blew out the Knicks by 28, to move to 10-14 on the year.
Damian Lillard looked in no mood to mess around this evening, tallying 31 points on 15 shots (8 threes).
The Blazers came out firing in the first, with Lillard, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony all scoring early. CJ kicked things off with a pair of floaters, but quickly stepped aside to let the Damian Lillard show commence.
Lillard seemed to be looking to kickstart Portland’s season, and was attempting to put the Knicks away after 12 minutes. The Blazers scored 32 points in the first 12 minutes, and their point guard scored 17 of these, as Dame hit 5 threes.
He finished the quarter the strongest, when he put together a splendid solo run, which included a deep 2, a step-back three (off a Whiteside block) and an iso three directly after.
The Blazers took a 10-point lead into the second.
The second quarter seemed like a fairly drab affair, and the Blazers went up 19 without me even realizing.
Anfernee Simons kept the Blazers ticking over to start the second, as a loose start was by papered over by the sophomore. The Blazers seemed to look for Simons early, as he responded, hitting 2 threes to stretch the lead to 11. Dame then checked back in and well, you know the rest.
Lillard had 25 points at the half on just 11 shots, and he walked is way to this number. Hassan Whiteside also ate off of the Knicks mediocrity, tallying 12 points, 11 boards and 4 blocks at the halfway point.
Whiteside was the one who began to stretch the lead, as he followed his 4th block with an offensive rebound and hook shot down the other end, to put Portland up 51-35.
Numerous free-throws later and the Blazers looked out of sight already, and went into the half with a 61-40 lead.
The Blazers continued the dominance in the second half, as the lead effortlessly grew. Whiteside was active early, a nifty bounce assist to Bazemore was followed by a tough finish inside to put the Blazers up 66-43.
The Knicks literally could not hit a barn door tonight, and the offense was given the luxury of numerous open looks. Dame continued to feast, hitting his 7th three on a helpless Mitchell Robinson, who was left on the perimeter to try and guard the All-Star.
Dame was involved again in the play of the quarter; a superb look from Melo at the top of the key found a cutting Lillard, who then dished it off to Whiteside, who was fouled as he finished with two hands.
The Blazers went into the final 12 leading 86-59.
Melo’s last contribution to the blowout was a typical transition catch and shoot three, which gave the Blazers their largest lead of the night (30). With 9 minutes to play, the starters minus Bazemore checked out.
The whole 4th quarter was basically garbage time, and gave Portland fans the chance to see some of the younger players work.
Nassir Little provided his usual fun and energetic hustle, and Jaylen Hoard looked smooth as well, as the two-way player showed off a nice up and under move, he missed the lay-up but hustled for the tip-in.
Anfernee Simons officially signalled showtime with 4 minutes to play, when he threw a half-court alley oop to Nassir Little, who, much to the pleasure of Rip City, finished emphatically.
The Blazers are back Thursday evening, as they head to Denver for a matchup with division rivals the Nuggets.