The Portland Trail Blazers got their first win of the season with one of the NBA’s youngest starting lineups. The New York Knicks are trying to get their first victory with perhaps the league’s most unstable rotation.
After opening this season with two road losses, the Trail Blazers seek their second straight win at home when they meet the winless Knicks.
Rookie Sergei Monia started at shooting guard after being activated from the inactive list prior to the game, giving the Blazers a starting lineup with an average age of 23.2.
Randolph had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Sebastian Telfair added 18 points for the Blazers, who lost their first two games by a combined 43 points. Monia had eight points, six rebounds and five assists.
Telfair made 7 of 15 shots, including 2 of 5 from 3-point range after shooting 23 percent (4-for-17) in his first two games.
“Me coming out and being aggressive helps the team,” Telfair said. “If I’m aggressive, Zach and (Darius) Miles get some easy baskets. The guys have to guard me, and no one can guard them one-on-one, so they have to guard me outside and it lets them go to work inside.”
Stephon Marbury, Telfair’s cousin, is one of only two players on the Knicks averaging more than 30 minutes per game under first-year coach Larry Brown. Marbury has averaged 42 minutes while Antonio Davis is averaging 32.
“I won’t play the rookies all the time, but they earned it,” Brown said after the Knicks dropped to 0-3 on the season. “It’s going to take some time. We’re trying to figure out who can play and who can help us.”
Lee saw his first action of the season after spending the first two games on the inactive list.
“It felt good to be in there,” said Lee, who was constantly hustling to keep balls alive and finished with 10 rebounds. “They recognize I’m a hard worker and that’s what I’m going to continue to do every time I step onto a floor.”
Brown, trying to turn around his hometown team in his eighth coaching stop in the NBA, will attempt to find some answers on the road. The Knicks are beginning a six-game road trip, the first of 12 road games in their next 16.
New York has lost five straight in Portland since a 93-89 victory on March 26, 2000.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 8): Knicks - 4th place, 1 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Trail Blazers - 3rd place (tied), 1 1/2 GB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Knicks - Marbury, 18.7 ppg and 5.3 apg; Davis, 8.7 rpg. Trail Blazers - Miles, 19.7 ppg and 4.0 apg; Randolph, 11.3 rpg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: 1-1.
LAST MEETING: March 26; Trail Blazers, 103-96. At Portland, Ore., Ruben Patterson had 16 points as the Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Knicks - 0-1 on the road; Trail Blazers - 1-0 at home.