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Portland, Ore. – Splitting four games in the West would be enough for the Knicks, especially as star point guard Jalen Brunson only played two quarters on the road trip.
Tom Thibodeau’s team salvaged a 2-2 record after dropping the first two games over the past six days, with wins against the Lakers on Sunday at Moda Center and a 123-107 win over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
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“It was huge. Because obviously when you don’t have one of your best players sometimes teams fall apart, or they go on a little losing streak,” said Josh Hart of his business in Portland. said after recording a triple double in his first game in Portland since the . last month. “We gave one to Charlotte (last Tuesday at home) and then we had a tough two to start the road trip.
“So to finish the road trip .500 and go back home, we’ll take it.”
Emmanuel Quickle scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and Julius Randle had 24 points and 10 boards as the Knicks improved to 41–30 overall, including 11–3 since Josh Hart won a February 8 tie with Portland. Joined the lineup after the deadline deal.
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With the win, they moved one game ahead of the Nets for No. 5 in the Eastern Conference standings.
Hart contributed 16 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes, while Cam Reddish was held to just two points off the bench for the Blazers in the first game between the teams as those players were traded to each other. was traded for.
Thibodeau said, “I thought we got off to a sluggish start and then I thought our bench came in and gave us a big lift.” “And I think a lot of the credit for that can be given to Josh. I’m like, I mean, you look at the boxscore, and that’s saying a lot.
“And then when the starters came back, they brought good energy and they closed the gap. … That was a good solid team win.
Miles “Deuce” McBride recorded a career-high 18 points and RJ Barrett added 22 as the Knicks overcame a 16-point first-half deficit. Damian Lillard scored 38 points and Anfernie Simmons added 22 (31-38) for the Blazers, who have shot 12 of 17 since February 4.
“I thought the rebounding was great. Josh, almost a triple double, Quick had some big shots and the deuce, you can’t say enough about what he did,” Thibodeau said. “It’s probably his best game as a pro.”
Hart, who was previously dealt by the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade in 2019 and the Pelicans in the CJ McCollum deal last year, didn’t seem particularly concerned about returning to Portland for the first time since becoming a Nick.
The Knicks missed their first seven shots, including four by Randle, and they trailed 33–20 after one quarter.
Early shots in the second by McBride and Obie Toppin (11 points) closed the deficit to eight, and McBride also fumbled a dunk attempt by Simmons. Randle hit three free throws late in the half for 13 points as the Knicks climbed to within six, 55–49, at halftime.
A 3-pointer from the left by Quentin Grimes and a driving dunk by Randle pulled the Knicks away less than two minutes into the third. Randle’s traditional three-point play put the Knicks ahead for their first lead of the game with 3:54 remaining.
Two more long-range buckets by McBride and another by Quickly helped the Knicks take a 91–81 advantage entering the final period before pulling away in the fourth.
“I think it’s the mental toughness of this team. Nobody was really panicking early,” Quickly said. “Portland is a great team. We felt like we could come back. Just sticking to the game plan, trying to make it tough for Lillard or Simmons.
“But I think that nobody panics really helps us stay in the game.”
Knicks batter Trail Blazers to finish West Coast trip at 2-2
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