Payton, Randle help power Knicks past Lillard, Blazers

NEW YORK (AP) — Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle scored 22 points apiece to power the New York Knicks to a 110-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Six players scored in double figures for New York, which has won two straight and improved to 11-13. RJ Barrett scored 18 points, Alec Burks added 16 and fellow reserve Immanuel Quickley had 12.

Damian Lillard scored 29 points in his return to the lineup but Portland had its two-game winning streak end. Lillard, who missed Portland’s 121-105 victory at Philadelphia on Thursday with a strained abdomen, started and played 38 minutes.

Gary Trent Jr. added 19 for the Trail Blazers. Enes Kanter and Robert Covington had 13 apiece, and Anfrenee Simons finished with 12.

New York led 57-51 at the half and 84-76 after the third quarter, having outscored Portland 58-45 in the middle two quarters.

Portland cut it to 90-85 after Simons’ three-point play, but New York outscored Portland 16-7 in a span of 4:35 to extend its lead to 106-92. The spurt was highlighted by a breakaway dunk from Payton, and Burks draining a pullup 25-footer.


Trail Blazers: Carmelo Anthony was held to two points and is 12 away from passing Oscar Robertson for 12th place on the NBA’s career scoring list. Coach Terry Stotts said Anthony enjoys his returns to Madison Square Garden. “He relished his time with the Knicks. …It definitely has a special place for him,” Stotts said of the forward, who provides Portland with 12.6 points in 25.8 minutes per game as a reserve. “It is a luxury to have that scoring ability. …You want that scoring off the bench.”

Knicks: Though the Knicks are currently in playoff position in a supposed rebuilding season, coach Tom Thibodeau was uninterested in taking a victory lap. “Going into the season the focus was on daily improvement.,” he said before the game. “So that hasn’t changed. And obviously there are some things that we’re doing well and some things that we’re not doing as well as we would like. But we want to keep focused on each game, what’s exactly in front of us, build the right habits.”


Trail Blazers: Begin a three-game homestead Tuesday night against Orlando.

Knicks: Host Miami in another matinee on Sunday.

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