Blazers roll past the Knicks

December 2, 2008 7:24:38 PM PST
Brandon Roy scored 23 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers dominated the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 104-97 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory. Rudy Fernandez made a pair of 3-pointers early in the final period and scored 18 for the Trail Blazers, who shut down the Knicks' high-powered offense for the first seven-plus minutes of the fourth and improved to 13-6, their best start after 19 games since the 1999-00 club was 15-4.

The Blazers shook off a dismal offensive night from rookie Greg Oden, who botched two dunks in the first five minutes and finished with two points, matching Kwame Brown for the lowest-scoring effort by a No. 1 overall pick in his Madison Square Garden debut in 40 years.

Oden played only 19 minutes because Joel Przybilla was dominant in the paint, grabbing 14 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and Travis Outlaw 16 for the Blazers, who have won the first two games of their five-game Eastern Conference trip and are 6-0 against the East, their best start since winning their first 12 in 1990-91.

Chris Duhon scored a season-high 23 points and added 13 assists for the Knicks, who missed 10 of their first 12 shots in the fourth quarter, when they were outscored 19-5. They didn't reach 82 points - the total they had at halftime of their 138-125 victory against Golden State on Saturday - until Quentin Richardson's two free throws with 4:49 remaining trimmed their deficit to eight.

David Lee finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

New York seemed in control after Duhon's two free throws gave him 13 points in the third quarter and made it 75-67 with 2:05 left. The Knicks didn't score again in the period, then Fernandez broke free in the fourth.

The Spanish rookie, greeted by chants of "Rudy!" when he first checked in, knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the quarter, and after a basket by Przybilla, Fernandez sank a pair of free throws and buried another 3 to make it 81-75 with 9:37 remaining.

The Knicks missed their first five shots in the period before Al Harrington's basket, but Roy made a couple of baskets and Sergio Rodriguez added another bucket and a 3-pointer to push the lead to 90-80 with 5:40 left.

Lee and Tim Thomas both scored 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting in the first quarter, helping New York build a 31-24 lead. The Knicks led 51-49 after Lee tipped in Harrington's missed 3-pointer as time expired.

Notes: Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said he hoped Nate Robinson (groin) and Jared Jeffries (foot) can play Friday at Atlanta.

Jeffries has begun practicing after sitting out all season with a broken foot sustained in training camp. ... Cazzie Russell (1966) and Jimmy Walker (1967) had the only two other two-point outings in an MSG debut since 1966, when the NBA switched away from a territorial draft. ... Portland won the last four meetings.


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