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(Wednesday, February 5th)
Final Score: Portland 94, New York 90
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicolas Batum recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers came through with a 94-90 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Wesley Matthews added 18 points and LaMarcus Aldridge also posted a double- double, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds, to help the Trail Blazers halt a four-game road skid that included Monday's 100-90 setback at Washington.
Portland shot just 38 percent from the field and got just four points from All-Star guard Damian Lillard, but offset those struggles with a 26-of-33 success rate from the foul line.
"All that matters is that we won the game," said Lillard. "Despite the fact that we didn't shoot the ball well we were still able to win the game on the road, so you have to be happy with that."
Carmelo Anthony tallied a game-high 26 points in the loss, the third in a row for the Knicks, with J.R. Smith netting 18 and Amar'e Stoudemire scoring 15 off the bench.
"I just don't like losing, period," said Knicks center Tyson Chandler. "Losing is not something that I'll ever get accustom to."
After the teams traded the lead seven times during a tightly contested third quarter, the Trail Blazers began to create some distance over the latter stages of the period.
A jumper and free throw from Aldridge started off a stretch of six straight Portland points that opened up a 70-61 lead, and the margin grew to 11 when Dorell Wright knocked down three foul shots after being hit from beyond the arc, making the score 77-66 in the Blazers' favor with less than a minute remaining in the frame.
The Knicks responded with a 10-0 surge, with Pablo Prigioni accounting for half of those points, to pull within one with 8:15 to go. Portland countered with a brief 6-0 burst, but back-to-back triples from Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. later on made it a one-possession game once again, with Hardaway's bucket trimming the Blazers' edge to 89-87 with 50 seconds left.
Aldridge buried a turnaround jumper with Chandler in his face on the ensuing trip down the court, however, and Mo Williams put the game on ice by sinking two free throws after Anthony failed to convert on the other end.
Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer, did not have a point while missing all five shot attempts in the fourth quarter.
A sharp opening quarter enabled Portland to build a 26-18 lead with a minute left in the stanza, but Stoudemire led an 8-1 run early in the second that put New York up by a 33-32 count. Neither team managed to pull away over the remainder of the half, with Lillard's jumper with time winding down sending the Blazers into the break owning a 47-46 edge.
The Knicks went just 14-of-20 from the charity stripe and made good on only 4- of-21 attempts from 3-point range ... Portland has now won four straight in the series, including a 102-91 decision at the Rose Garden in November, and six of its last trips to Madison Square Garden ... New York forward Kenyon Martin missed a second straight game with a sore left ankle.
02/06 02:14:54 ET