The Blazers did what they were supposed to do on Monday; They took care of business against one of the worst teams in the league. However, it wasn't as easy as the final score may make it look. The Blazers came out slow, allowing the Knicks to take the early in the early stages, and nearly trailed New York at halftime. Portland flipped the switch in the third quarter, starting the second half on a 9-0 run, and the rest was history.
Here are some quick thoughts from our reporters on the scene...
Dwight Jaynes, Trail Blazers' Insider: Ugly game, which the Knicks need if they are going to have a chance to win. And New York hung in for most of three quarters. Blazers got points from a lot of people and good performance from Jake Layman in relief of Moe Harkless, who aggravated his sore knee again. Layman had a double-double.
Jamie Hudson, Trail Blazers' Reporter: Early in this one, it seemed as though the Trail Blazers were playing down to their opponent. Plus, there was not very much energy in the Moda Center after one quarter. But, midway through the second, Meyers Leonard and Jake Layman had a good connection working that turned into two big dunks that seemed to get the team and the crowd going. With both Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins in early foul trouble there wasn't as much scoring in the paint that everyone has become accustomed to in the last few games. But, since the Knicks struggled to score in the second half, Portland avoided the trap game.
Mike Richman, Trail Blazers' Reporter: There was some basketball stuff that happened but the biggest headline of this game is Moe Harkless' lingering knee issues. He sat out the second half with left knee soreness. While a certain section of the fan base and maybe even some of my colleagues don't think that's a big deal, the Blazers are at their best when Harkless plays. His continued health issues limits Portland's ceiling.
***Be sure to check back here throughout tonight for locker room videos with Coach Stotts and the players, plus locker room reports from Jamie Hudson and Dwight Jaynes***
NEXT UP: The Blazers play host to the Chicago Buls on Wednesday, January 9th. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm with coverage beginning at 6:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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