The New York Knicks, playing without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and All-Star center Tyson Chandler because of injuries, lost their third straight game with a 105-90 defeat at the Portland Trail Blazers in a National Basketball Association game.
The Trail Blazers (30-34), led by Damian Lillard with 26 points and 10 assists, finished the first half with a 13-0 run to take a 51-48 halftime advantage on their home court last night at the Rose Garden and never trailed again. LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and 10 rebounds.
J.R. Smith had 33 points and Kenyon Martin contributed 12 points for the Knicks.
The Knicks (38-25) had their lead atop the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division cut to a game over the Brooklyn Nets (38-27). New York has lost by a total of 67 points while dropping the first three games of a five-stop western road trip.
Anthony underwent a procedure in New York yesterday to remove fluid from the back of his right knee. The team said he had “soft-tissue fluid collection” and no structural damage.
Anthony, who has averaged 27.5 points and 6.2 rebounds this season, will return to the team March 17 at the Los Angeles Clippers, although he may not play until the following day in Utah.
Chandler missed last night’s game because of a bruised knee suffered a night earlier in a loss at Denver. Forward Amar’e Stoudemire is out for six weeks following knee surgery.
In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 28 points and 19 rebounds as the Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 92-91 to clinch a playoff berth for the 16th straight year. The team improved to 50-16 to extend its streak of winning at least 50 games to 14 years.