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Trail Blazers 105, Knicks 90

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Damian Lillard scored 26 points and passed out 10 assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 105-90 victory over the short-handed New York Knicks on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J. Hickson added 12 points and 16 boards as all five starters scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers (30-34).

Portland won for the fifth time in 17 games.

J.R. Smith came off the bench to bomb in 33 points for the Knicks, who lost their third straight to start a five-game road trip.

New York (38-25) was playing without its top three frontcourt players, all missing due to knee injuries: Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

The Blazers shot 51.3 percent from the field and got out into the open court after the first quarter, winning the fast-break battle 18-8.

Portland broke things open in the third quarter, outscoring New York 27-14 to take a 78-62 lead into the final period. Behind Smith, the Knicks responded quickly, going on a 14-2 run to cut the margin to 80-76 with 7:50 remaining.

The Blazers, with Lillard leading the way, then went on a 17-4 tear of their own for a 97-80 edge, and the Knicks were cooked.

New York had the best of it early, sinking 13 of 21 shots from the field en route to a 30-22 advantage after one quarter.

The Knicks increased the lead to 41-28 early in the second quarter. New York was up 48-38 before the Blazers finally made their move, closing the half on a 13-0 roll to go into intermission ahead 51-48. Lillard had 11 points and seven assists and Hickson eight points and nine rebounds at the break.

NOTES: Anthony, who left Wednesday night's 117-94 loss at Denver with a sore right knee, had the knee drained in New York on Thursday. "He said it felt pretty good and that he is going to come out to L.A. (where the Knicks face the Clippers on Sunday) to be with the team and be evaluated," New York coach Mike Woodson said. "When he's going to play again, I don't know." Chandler, who left the Nuggets game with a knee contusion, is day-to-day. Stoudemire is out at least six weeks after having right knee surgery on Monday. ... The Knicks started two ex-Blazers -- Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas -- along with Kenyon Martin, Iman Shumpert and Chris Copeland. "Guys have to step up and play," Woodson said. Martin was the highest-scoring New York starter, finishing with 12 points. ... Aldridge (migraine) sat out Wednesday's practice and Thursday's shootaround but started against New York. ... The Knicks were blown out at Golden State (92-63) and Denver in their first two stops on a five-game Western swing. "My thing is to try to stay in games, to give yourself an opportunity," Woodson said. "We couldn't score in Oakland, but we competed. It was a track meet (in Denver). We gave up 28 layups. You're not going to beat anybody doing that. That has to stop."
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