It was bounce back time for the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night with the New York Knicks in town.
Portland was looking to get back on track and what better team than the Knicks, who have the worst record in the league.
After taking a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Blazers never looked back. Portland’s biggest lead on the night was 32.
Here are three quick takeaways from Tuesday’s win:
1. Dame dialed-in
After discussing how the Blazers did not have a sense of urgency during Sunday’s loss to the Thunder, Damian Lillard came out on fire, hitting his first four shots. With 17-first quarter points, it looked like Lillard was making a statement. Besides Lillard and Hassan Whiteside, Portland’s starting unit didn’t have an efficient shooting night for the second game in a row. But, Lillard led his team to a victory after knocking down eight of his 12 three-point attempts.
2. Knicks feast in the paint early
Through the first two quarters, the Knicks scored 28 points in the paint to the Blazers’ 16. Midway through the second, Portland threw a 2-3 zone at New York. The Knicks didn’t know how to handle the zone. Since Portland was able to build such a large lead early on, the Blazers didn’t need to go back to the 2-3. Coach Terry Stotts also played both Whiteside and Skal Labissire on the court at the same time. It was a night of different looks for Portland.
3. Whiteside large and in charge
Hassan Whiteside started out the third quarter with a bang, gobbling up rebounds and taking it hard to the rim. The Blazers starting center also made his presence felt on the defensive end with five blocks on the night. Whiteside finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, to go along with his 15 rebounds.
Up Next: The Trail Blazers now head out on a two-game road trip. First up, Portland will make a stop in Denver on Thursday night. The Blazers and Nuggets will tip-off at 6:30pm.
Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!