The New York Knicks achieved their second consecutive victory in their return to Madison Square Garden. Tom Thibodeau’s team beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-110 with five players in double-digit scoring
Julius Randle added a new double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds; followed by his teammate Elfrid Payton, with another 22 points and 7 rebounds. “Right now we feel like we have a chance to win every night,” Randle admitted to ESPN.
The Knickerbockers They took a long-suffering win after squandering a comfortable 15-point lead in the final leg of the game despite attempts by a Damian Lillard who was returning to the starting lineup after overcoming abdominal problems.
“We feel that we can improve even more. We have different guys who can contribute different things to the parquet, “added Randle.
Canadian RJ Barrett completed the scoring trio with 18 points and 7 rebounds; Alec Burks had 16 points and 8 rebounds as a substitute; and Immanuel Quickley scored 12 points in just 13 minutes on the floor.
In the Blazers, the aforementioned Lillard stood out with 29 points, 9 assists and 4 steals; Gary Trent Jr. had 19 points; and Enes Kanter, who was returning to the Big Apple, grabbed a double-double: 13 points and 11 rebounds.
To the surprise of many, the Knicks are currently in playoff positions, ranking seventh in the East with an 11-13 record. Nevertheless; Tom Thibodeau was cautious after the game and assured that this is not the main objective of his team.
“As we entered the season, our focus was on getting better every day. And right now that hasn’t changed. Obviously there are some things that we are doing well, and others not as well as I would like. But we want to focus on each game, what is exactly in front of us. Build the right habits for the future, ”explained the Knicks coach.
Bittersweet return of Carmelo
It was not the dream return of Carmelo Anthony to a Madison Square Garden without an audience due to the pandemic, and for his gray performance. Who was the star of the Knicks for seven seasons only added 2 points and 3 rebounds with 1/8 in shots from the field where he was seen at times past revolutions.
“He really enjoyed his time with the Knicks… It’s a very special place for him,” Terry Stotts said.
Anthony hogged as Knickerbocker 412 official games with averages of 24.7 points, 7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1 steal in 36 minutes of play.
(Cover photo: Abbie Parr / Getty Images)