Quickley leads rally and Knicks beat Trail Blazers 123-107
By ANNE M. PETERSON
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Immanuel Quickley had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks mounted a rally in the third quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 123-107 on Tuesday night.
Julius Randle added 24 points for the Knicks, who were still playing without injured guard Jalen Brunson.
Quickley scored 14 points in the third quarter and the Knicks outscored the Blazers 42-26 to lead 91-81 lead going into the final period. New York stretched the lead to 108-92 on former Blazer Josh Hart's layup with 7:32 left in the game.
The Knicks led by as many as 19 points in the fourth.
“This team was trending upwards when I got here, and I was able to just kind of fit right in and continue to help this team grow,” said Hart, who was traded to the Knicks at the deadline last month. “I think that's the biggest thing. It feels great that we're getting the wins.”
Hart finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists off the bench.
Damian Lillard was questionable before the game with a calf injury, but he started for Portland and led all scorers with 38 points.
Jerami Grant also missed the game because of a hip contusion and Trendon Watford started for the Blazers instead.
“The (Blazers) backcourt is so dynamic and puts so much pressure on you constantly. They don't go away, so very pleased overall with our defense," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The rebounding was really good, and in the second half we took care of the ball.”
The Knicks entered the game having lost three of their last four after a nine-game winning streak. Boosted by that streak, they moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference and were 10 games back of leader Milwaukee.
Brunson, who was averaging nearly 24 points a game this season, continued to deal with a sore left foot that has kept him out of five of New York's last six games.
The Blazers were just 3-7 over their previous 10 games to drop to 13th in the West. But, a cluster of teams vying for playoff spots in the conference meant that Portland still had a chance with 13 games to go after the loss to the Knicks.
Portland led by as many as 16 points in the first half and headed into halftime up 55-49 after Lillard's 3 pointer. Lillard had 18 points at the break.
Midway through the third quarter, Quickley tied it at 68 with a 3-pointer, but Lillard answered with a 3 of his own. The Knicks took a 75-74 lead on Randle's pullup jumper and free throw.
The Knicks stretched the lead to 86-78 on Quickley's 3 late in the third.
“We started the game awesome, obviously had a great first quarter, and in the second quarter you could feel it kind of slipping a little bit,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “They got more aggressive, they got more physical. It felt we caved in a little bit to their aggressive pressure.”
Knicks: It was the last of a four-game trip for New York. ... Randle collected three first-quarter fouls but led the Knicks in the first half with 13 points. ... Hart was greeted with warm applause at the Moda Center when he checked in during the first quarter. ... Miles McBride had a career-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, off the bench.
Trail Blazers: Portland was coming off a six game trip, during which they went 2-4. ... It was “Bigfoot Night” at the Moda Center. Comedian Ian Karmel led fans on a quest for the mythical creature - finding “Douglas Fur” a new team mascot joining Blaze the Trail Cat.
Knicks: New York hosts Denver on Saturday.
Trail Blazers: Portland hosts the Boston Celtics on Friday.
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Updated March 15, 2023