RECAP: New York Knicks’ rally falls just short in loss to the Blazers

Jan 24, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter (11) blocks New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard recorded 39 points and eight assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 116-113 victory over the visiting New York Knicks on Sunday night.

Lillard made six 3-pointers and was 11 of 17 from the field as he scored at least 35 points for the fourth time in the past five games.

He also made all 11 free-throw attempts to raise his consecutive streak to 66, breaking his own franchise mark of 64 set in March of 2018.

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The victory was the sixth in the past eight games for Portland, which had games against Memphis on Wednesday and Friday postponed due to the Grizzlies’ COVID-19 issues.

Anfernee Simons (16 points) and Derrick Jones Jr. (14) each notched season-best point totals for the Trail Blazers. Carmelo Anthony scored 12 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 11 for Portland, which connected on 47 percent of its field-goal attempts and was 17 of 46 from 3-point range.

Rookie Immanuel Quickley established season highs of 31 points and five 3-pointers for the Knicks. Julius Randle scored 25 points and Alec Burks added 18 for New York, which shot 45.3 percent from the field and made 12 of 29 from behind the arc while losing its second straight contest.

New York trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter before staging a frantic rally.

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The Knicks moved within single digits when Kevin Knox made two free throws to cut Portland’s lead to 94-86 with 8:28 left in the game. A short time later, Quickley drained a long 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 96-91 with 7:13 remaining.

But New York went more than three minutes without scoring and Portland took advantage as Robert Covington converted a layup and Lillard and Simons nailed 3-pointers to make it 104-91 with 4:26 left.

New York later went on an 8-0 spurt, which was capped by three free throws from Quickley, who was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with 1:33 to play. That brought the Knicks within 106-102.

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Later, Quickley again made three straight free throws after being fouled to pull the Knicks within 112-109 with 16.6 seconds left before the Trail Blazers closed it out.

Lillard scored 15 points in the opening quarter to help the Trail Blazers take a 37-24 lead. Portland led 70-50 entering the break.

The Trail Blazers were up 77-52 after Lillard hit a jumper with 10:12 left in the third quarter, but New York began its charge. A jumper by Elfrid Payton with 14.5 seconds remaining allowed the Knicks to trail 89-77 entering the final stanza.

–Field Level Media