Knicks CRUSH Trailblazers. NY 112 Portland 84

OG Anunoby scored a team-high 23 points.. Photo courtesy NY Knicks.

The Knicks are starting to look like the Golden State Warriors of a few years ago.

In this one they utterly crushed the Portland Trailblazers from start to finish — leading by so many points it wasn’t much necessary for theirs stars, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, or Isaiah Hartenstein, to play in the 4th quarter. NY led by 39 points at one point in the 3rd quarter in cruising to the 112-84 victory on a Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

OG Anunoby stared in the 1st quarter, and Mile McBride stared late and in between the defense was tremendous and the ball moved on offense. The Knicks are playing on another level — undefeated at 5-0 in 2024 and since the trade for Anunoby.

The Knicks got a little sloppy late in the 3rd into the 4th — allowing Portland to cut a 39-pt deficit to a 27-pt deficit; but NY quickly pushed it back into a 30+ lead. Portland scored the last 5 points of the game to only lose by 28.

“You’re just striving to be a 48-minute team; a lot of good things we did for 3 quarters, and then the 4th quarter not as good as we should have,” said coach Tom Thibodeau when asked if he was concerned when Portland pulled to within 27. “Very aggressive early. The defensive activity to start the game was real good; we got some turnovers; got into the open floor. And then our guys did a really good job of attacking the zone, getting into the gaps, and making plays for each other. They created advantages and they shared the ball. We were tied together defensively. The rebounding was good. We got careless at the end of the half and in the 4th with the turnovers.”

NY improves to 22-15. Portland falls to 10-26.

1. DiVincenzo Kicks It Off

Donte DiVincenzo kicked off the festivities with a steal and a drive as the game just began, then hit a 3 and NY was on fire already.

2. Anunoby Stars Early

The Knicks played frenetic defense and motion offense from the start; OG Anunoby in the right place at the right time on defense and on offense — hitting corner 3’s. Anunoby hit 4 (four) 3’s in the 1st quarter as NY took command — leading 38-22 after the 1sst quarter.

The Knicks defense was killer; the ball movement superb, opening up easy 3’s in rhythm.

“The ball’s been moving a lot better,” said center Isaiah Hartenstein, who pulled down 14 rebounds even though he didn’t need to play at all in the 4th quarter. “Defensively, (OG’s) been doing a great job playing team defense. He makes my life a lot easier.”

3. Knicks Up by 39 in the 3rd

And NY just kept defending, and attacking.

“My god. How good this team is playing.” That’s what we tweeted in the 3rd quarter.

  • Julius Randle powered toward the basket on the right side and hit Quentin Grimes in the left corner, who gathered for a fallaway 3: Bang.
  • Next play: Randle the full-court drive and kick to Jalen Brunson for a right-corner 3: Bang.
  • NY 49 Portland 30. Portland Time Out.

Jalen Brunson drove to the basket repeatedly, opening up the offense.

“Jalen Brunson puts his defender at his mercy and keeps them on their heels along with his great use of fundamentals,” observed NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “The great use of shot fake, use of pivot foot and then the ability to finish contact.”

Julius Randle powered to the bucket at will — scoring or opening up the offense as well. Wally Szcerbiak noted on the post-game that Randle has a lot more room to operate now, since the trade. Without saying it he was saying Randle and RJ Barrett were previously stalking the same ground; Anunoby isn’t there — he’s somewhere else roaming around off the ball.

“Good things happen when you play with ball movement and movement off ball, play unselfish, defend, control the glass, recognize and attack mismatches get bench production,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Play to your strengths along with making the extra pass and the extra effort plays which the Knicks are doing.”

how good the Knicks were playing. times the Knicks looked like the Steph Curry-led Golden State Warriors of a few years ago.

4. McBride Stars Late

Deuce McBride took over in the 3rd quarter. The backup point guard who was instrumental last season but was out of the rotation this season until the trade, is starting to look like the Deuce McBride of the G League — when he was a confident scoring and attacking machine.

The Knicks Defense was intense throughout and McBride was a part of that with his great on-ball defense. Portland star Anfernee Simons only had only 12 points on 4-14 shooting.

5. Knicks Take Pedal Off Metal in 4th

NY got a little careless in the 4th quarter — with some unforced turnovers and shots that rimmed out — and Portland made a run to within 27 down. But Quentin Grimes hit a 3, then came up with a steal and full-court drive-and-1 for 6 straight points and NY was back up by 33 with 5:36 left.

Thibs never put the starters back in, in the 4th. Portland scored the last 5 points of the game — a 3 and a deuce — to pull to within 28 — the final deficiit.

Jerami Grant led Portland with 21 points. NY held Portland to only 84 points.

Josh Hart only scored 2 pts in 26 minutes but his defensive imprint was on this game. He had a +12 and 7 rebounds.

The Boxscore

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