BLAZERS GRADED: Portland 101, New York 79
Monday, December 29, 2014
Not that any of them would've made much of a difference. The Knicks are atrocious and the Blazers are scorching.
Portland got off to an 11-2 start, Sunday at Moda Center, and never looked back. From the second quarter on, the Blazers led by double-digits.
A game after hitting seven three-pointers, Wesley Matthews' hot shooting continued through the first half as he rang up five more. (From there on out, however, he got a little trigger-happy, finishing 6-of-a-staggering-15 from behind the arc.)
Nicolas Batum drilled four three's of his own by intermission, and the Blazers took a 55-41 lead into the break.
As the teams returned to the court, Carmello Anthony did not. The Knicks cited a sore knee, but as much as anything they were essentially conceding defeat, resting their star in the process.
Indeed, much Friday's game against the league-worst 76ers, this one was never really in doubt.
NICOLAS BATUM: A-
Batum had his best shooting night of the year. He made 5-of-7 tries from beyond the arc, the first time this season he's made more than two three-pointers. And while he left the box score a little empty, adding only three assists and one rebound, his 17 points were a season high.
THOMAS ROBINSON: C
Getting the start in place of LaMarcus Aldridge, who's still suffering from an upper-respiratory illness, Robinson provided hustle and energy, but little of the finer things. Despite starting, Robinson played only 13 minutes. He scored five points and grabbed four boards.
JOEL FREELAND: A-
While a good deal of Freeland's 10 points and 10 rebounds came in garbage time, he was sturdy, particularly on the defensive end, where he had a pair of emphatic, highlight-worthy blocks.
WESLEY MATTHEWS: A-
A game after hitting seven three's, Matthews' piled up six more (though he did take an absurd 15 attempts). With Aldridge out, Matthews' game-high 28 points provided a bulk of Portland's scoring.
DAMIAN LILLARD: B
Lillard was in a simple, paced, facilitating mode, Sunday, which was all the Blazers needed from him. He finished with 11 points, six assists and four blocks.
CHRIS KAMAN: A-
After missing Friday's game for the birth of his son, Barrett, Kaman came back active and effective. In 20 minutes he piled up 13 points, nine boards, two assists and a block.