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Knicks 420 Portland for 3rd Straight Win

December 8, 2009

Al Harrington drives to the basket

NEW YORK- Jared Jeffries twice stepped in to draw charges. Chris Duhon dived on the floor to come up with a loose ball, starting a play that ended with Gallinari finding Al Harrington alone under the basket for a dunk, and the New York Knickerbockers won for the fourth time in five games.

The Garden crowd rose at the fourth quarter buzzer and applauded the Knicks for their teamwork, hustle and most importantly strong defensive play against the injury ridden Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers who recently lost Greg Oden to season ending knee surgery came into New York undefeated against the Knicks in the past five games.

Larry Hughes scored 21 points and hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds of a strong third quarter where the Knicks outscored Portland 29-17. David Lee recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler added 14 a piece.

The streaking Knicks now stand at 7-15 and have won a season high three games in a row.

The eight man rotation that coach Mike D’antoni has used as of late looks to be settling into their roles. The team looks more cohesive and comfortable, opposed to the apprehension and unfamiliarity the team was suffering through the first 10 games of the season. They are 4-1 for the month of December and 6-6 in the past 12 games, with five of those losses coming against the NBA’s best teams. (Lakers, Nuggets, Celtics and the Magic twice)

Brandon Roy scored 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, whose injuries start at the coach’s seat. Nate McMillan who will be out for Portland’s east coast swing had surgery Monday in Vancouver, Wash., the same city where Oden underwent his knee procedure. McMillan ruptured his right Achilles tendon during practice Friday after taking the floor with a team missing so many bodies.

Dean Demopoulos who is running the team until McMillan returns doesn’t have much help on the bench either. He had only nine players and surely could’ve used the defense of Oden, who is second in the league in blocked shots and fourth in field goal percentage.

New York outscored the Trailblazers 60-37 across the middle two quarters. New York shot 37 percent but held Portland to 30 percent in the first quarter, which ended in an 18-all tie. The shooting was better in the second, but the Knicks still made plenty of key plays defensively to open a comfortable lead.

Portland tried to muster a rally, pulling within nine midway through the fourth after consecutive baskets by Jerryd Bayless. Danilo Gallinari however wasn’t hearing any of it and ended the run with a 3-pointer, then fed Larry Hughes for a 3-point play that quickly made it 86-71 with 5:40 remaining.

The Knicks had been 0-5 in the second game when playing on back-to-back days. They beat New Jersey 106-97 on Sunday. … Knicks center Eddy Curry was back in uniform after he was inactive for the last seven games because of a sore left knee. He wasn’t expected to suit up again until the Knicks visit New Orleans on Friday so he could get some practice time first. Nate Robinson received another DNP but has acted professionally since the demotion. He was the first player off the bench to high-five players on their effort during time-outs.

The Knicks improved to 4-1 this season when holding opponents under 100 points. The 84 points allowed are a season low for New York. The Knicks shot 50 percent from behind the arc (13 for 26).

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2 comments

  1. Finally a reporter who actually likes the team. This is an awesome article great job.

    D’antoni is a great coach and understands his players. We could just suck and get a lottery pick and not attract any “big names” in free agency. Or present a promising team that could win now and devolop into great role players for next season. We need to keep players like Lee, Galo, and Douglas. Maybe sign some of these other guys for veteren minimual salaries. WE DONT NEED to revamp the whole team next season.


  2. thanks for the support! I agree if the team keeps like we are now and finally begins to jell we’ll just need a star or 2 to make us legitimate



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