The Portland Trail Blazers (14-21) slumped to their fifth-straight defeat, opening their five-game road trip with a 117-93 loss to the New York Knicks (10-24) at Madison Square Garden.
Five Knicks players scored in double figures, led by 22 points apiece from Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. Marcus Morris Sr. added 18 points and Bobby Portis 17 off the bench.
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In his return to The Garden, Carmelo Anthony led the Blazers with a season-high 26 points and seven rebounds, while Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum struggled, combining for 28 points on 11-of-36 shooting from the field.
Here are the key takeaways from today's game.
Blazers lose fifth straight
The Blazers sit ninth in the Western Conference after dropping their fifth game in a row today.
Entering the fourth quarter, they trailed 83-77. but let the Knicks go on a 14-0 run, led by triples from Reggie Bullock (2), Frank Ntilikina and Boby Portis to stretch the lead to 101-81 lead with 6:34 remaining.
New York outscored Portland 34-16 in the final quarter to seal their third win in a row.
It doesn't get much easier for the Blazers, who continue their road trip as they take on the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves, before returning home to meet the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
A perfect night for Mitch
The Knicks dominated inside, outscoring the Blazers 54-32 in the paint, with many of them coming on thunderous dunks from Mitchell Robinson.
Robinson poured in a career-high 22 points on a perfect 11-of-11 from the field and tied the Knicks' record for most field goals made without a miss in a single game (11).
Mitchell Robinson gets way up for the NYK alley-oop.@trailblazers 32@nyknicks 32- NBA (@NBA) January 2, 2020
📺: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/f97Dc3hvEj
Vintage Melo receives huge ovation
Carmelo Anthony had the Madison Square Garden crowd abuzz as he turned in a vintage performance in his first game back in the Garden since Dec. 2017.
Melo announced as a Blazer at MSG 👀 pic.twitter.com/al4v2XhSaZ- NBA TV (@NBATV) January 2, 2020
Anthony recorded a season-high 26 points and seven rebounds in just three quarters, with chants of 'We want Melo' echoing around the arena as fans wanted to see the former Knick re-enter the game in the fourth quarter.
Anthony turned in an efficient performance, shooting 11-of-17 from the field and 3-of-5 from the three-point line.
His previous high this season was 25, coming against the Chicago Bulls in just his fourth game back. He now has seven 20-point games this season.
Carmelo Anthony this season:- StatMuse (@statmuse) January 2, 2020
- Higher FG% than Paul George
- Higher 3P% than Damian Lillard
- More PPG than Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/mrEGQRR0dN
Dame and CJ held quiet
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum struggled to get going at MSG on a rare cold shooting night for the backcourt duo.
Lillard scored just 11 points on 5--of-20 shooting from the field, mossing his first six three-point attempts before hitting his only triple of the night. He finished 1-of-8 from deep.
While he couldn't get his jumper going, he added 10 rebounds and eight assists on the night.
McCollum finished with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, shooting 6-of-16 from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Plenty of credit goes to the stifling defensive effort put forth from the Knicks guards Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina, who hounded their opponents on the perimeter, forcing a string of tough shots.
Ntilikina kick-started the Knicks offence, with his ball pressure on the defensive end, finishing with nine points, 10 assists, two blocks, a steal and one monster dunk in the fourth quarter.
FLYING FRENCH PRINCE ✈️ pic.twitter.com/UYNhf9jU4I- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 2, 2020
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