Knicks oust Trail Blazers 117-93 as Carmelo Anthony returns to the Garden
The New Year started with lots of positive things for New York. Reggie Bullock played his first game as a Knick, Carmelo Anthony returned to the Garden for the second time since the 2017 trade and Frank Ntilikina & Mitchell Robinson became an explosive duo on both ends of the court as the Knicks got their first three game winning streak since November 25th 2018.
Anthony finished with a game and season-high 26 points for the Trail Blazers and got ovations from the warmups and throughout the entire game.
“The love was definitely felt tonight from the fans that was here, from the city as a whole, just being back. For me to get that ovation — I think I’ve always had the love from the city like that, but to be back in this building where I spent so many years, that love felt extremely good tonight.”
– Carmelo Anthony
Robinson and Julius Randle led the Knicks with 22 points each. Randle also grabbed 12 rebounds while Mitch cleaned the mess under the boards and hyped the crowd with his countless alley-oops dished by either Randle or Ntilikina. Robinson was 11-11 from the field and his FG percentage is shaping into one of the best in the league, currently standing at over 70%.
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Ntilikina had 9 points and 10 assists while Bullock’s debut was rewarded with 11 points including three 3 pointers in 15 minutes of play time.
The game was tight for the most part and neither team couldn’t get a double digit lead in the first three quarters. Things changed in the fourth when the Knicks simply stormed the Blazers to a point that had them trail by 29 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. In the end, the Knicks won 117-93.
The Knicks are now 6-6 under Mike Miller and are 6-4 in the last 10 games. They are also just 5 games behind the 8th seed, incredible as it sounds.
Former league commissioner, David Stern, passed away on January 1st. He ran the league for 30 years between 1984 and 2014 and is credited for turning the NBA into one of the most successful business in the world. He focused on keeping the biggest stars under the spotlight, he turned Michael Jordan into a league icon, he introduced seven new franchises – with two of them in Canada (Raptors & Grizzlies) and expanded the NBA to 30 teams by 2004.