Knicks Rally Comes Up Short vs. Blazers In Stoudemire’s Return
Carmelo Anthony's season high 45 points, Amar'e Stoudemire's season debut and a late rally still weren't enough to shake the Knicks' recent struggles as New York fell at home 105-100 to the Blazers on New Year's night.
Nicolas Batum's 26 points led the way for Portland, who also got 19 points and 14 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge. Damian Lillard added 21 points and six assists for a Blazers squad that has won eight of its last ten.
'Melo's 45 came on a solid 14-24 shooting night, with 24 points coming in the first half to help the Knicks stay close after trailing by as much as 19.
Stoudemire showed some rust going 0-5 from the floor in more than nine minutes of first half action, but the pick-and-roll helped Amar'e get some close looks in the second half where was 3-3 to finish with six points.
J.R. Smith scored 28 to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Knicks shot 10-37 from long range on the night (27%).
New York was able to cut an 11 points half time deficit to three points in the third quarter but the Blazers stretched the lead again and took a seven point lead into the fourth. The deficit grew to 15 points with 4:30 to play in regulation when the Knicks rallied again, crawling with within three points with under 30-seconds to play.
After the defense forced a jump ball, won by the Knicks, Anthony missed a pull up 3-pointer. Portland grabbed the board and hit two free throws to seal it.
New York (21-10) has lost three of the last four at home and three of the last four overall heading into a matchup with with Spurs on Thursday night at MSG.