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Portland loses 121-79 in New York

  1. Written by: KevinHudson  / avg. rating: 5.0

    The Portland Trail Blazers lost 121-79 to the New York Knicks Wednesday, in front of 19,763 at Madison Square Garden.

    Portland (20-23) came out cold again, shooting 26.3 percent from the field in the first quarter to trail 25-12. The Trail Blazers improved to 40 percent shooting in the second period but trailed 55-29 at the break after shooting 32.4 percent in the first half to go along with 14 turnovers.

    "We did not come out with the mind frame to compete at this level and it definitely showed," said Portland center Marcus Camby. "We came out and we were not hitting shots, but when you are not hitting shots, you can do other things to help your team out."

    LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace led Portland with 15 points each, followed by Luke Babbit, who scored a career-high 12 points in 17 minutes off the Trail Blazers bench.

    New York (19-24) extended its lead to 33 points in the third quarter, then tacked on 43 points in the final stanza, their highest fourth-quarter output of the season, to extend for the final margin.

    "We looked hesitant. We just have to relax and play basketball," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We just have to relax and take the shots when they are there and shoot the ball with confidence. Right now we’re just playing hesitant basketball."

    Nicolas Batum and Raymond Felton finished with nine points each. Jamal Crawford did not play due to knee tendinitis, according to McMillan.

    The Knicks were led by J.R. Smith, who scored 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting off the bench, including 7-of-14 from behind the three-point arc. Steve Novak contributed 20 points off the Knicks bench on 6-of-10 shooting from long range as the New York bench outscored the Portland reserves 72-29.

    "We came out with a lot of energy...more than we have in a long time," said Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. "We just played really hard."

    Portland heads to Chicago to take on the Bulls, Friday, 5 p.m. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet (Comcast channel 37). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.

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