Knicks collapse in OT, drop 132-129 to Trail Blazers at home

Jalen Brunson scored 32 points but the Knicks could not hold off the Trail Blazers in Over Time and dropped 132-129 at Madison Square Garden, their third loss in the last four games.

Jerami Grant scored a career-high 44 points and Anfernee Simmons added 38 for Portland, who played without Damian Lillard. But despite having their franchise player out, the Trail Blazers had plenty of help from the officiating crew.

The refs began to anticipate calls against the Knicks especially in the second quarter, allowing Portland to overcome a 14 point deficit with 4:49 left to play until halftime. The visiting team had 51 free throws, 24 of them being called during the second quarter. Grant was sent 28 times to the free throw line. In contrast, the home team had 28 the entire game.

The Knicks were leading 56-42 and five minutes later, at halftime, the Trail Blazers were already up 62-61. Eighteen of their total 37 points in the second act came from the free throw line to just four points for the other side.

“You got to know your opponent well and then you also got to factor in how this game is (being officiated). Is it a physical game? Is it a game that’s being called tight? And then we have to adjust. We didn’t adjust. Fifty-one free throws? I can’t recall someone getting 28 in a game.”

Tom Thibodeau

The Knicks had a chance to end the game before regulation. Brunson set the Knicks 116-114 with 13.7 seconds left but then on the following possession a foul was called on Simmons. The Knicks contested the foul but the refs did not overturned it and Simmons tied the game with two free throws.

Julius Randle finished with 23 points, RJ Barrett was in double-double with 19 points, 10 boards and 5 dimes and Mitchell Robinson added 12 buckets to go with 8 rebounds. Immanuel Quickley led the bench with 18 points.

Up-next: Knicks (9-10) host the Grizzlies (11-8) on Sunday from 6:00pm.

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