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Blazers overcome Anthony's 45, spoil Amare's debut

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm •  Published: January 1, 2013
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"We got him some easy shots tonight. A little rusty but that was expected, he expected that tonight," Anthony said. "Then once he settled down, we got him in the right situations, got him in the right positions, he made some shots. That's going to take some time for him just rebuilding that confidence being back out there on the basketball court, but for the most part the ball's going to find him."

Stoudemire was already done for the night when the Knicks made a late run, cutting an 11-point deficit with 3:16 remaining to 100-97 on Anthony's 3-pointer with 57 seconds left. Lillard answered with a 3-pointer, but the Knicks got it right back down to three again when Anthony converted a three-point play with 29 seconds to go.

The Knicks forced a jump ball and Smith won it, but Anthony missed a 3-pointer. Wesley Matthews, back after missing four straight games with an injured left hip, made two free throws with 13 seconds left to close the scoring.

Stoudemire checked in with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter to the ovation he said was unlike he'd ever experienced in his career. The Knicks went right to him in the post, but he stepped on the baseline while making his move.

The cheers turned to boos, not heard often this season during the Knicks' 12-2 start at home, just a few minutes later.

Portland used an 11-0 run in the second quarter to extend a seven-point lead to 43-25 on Mathews' basket with 7:20 remaining. The lead was 19 when Stoudemire returned with 5:36 left and the Knicks scored seven straight points, but the Blazers regrouped and got it back to 18 after consecutive baskets by Hickson before Stoudemire sat down again.

It was 58-47 at halftime after Anthony banked in a 3-pointer on a broken play with 0.1 seconds left.

The Knicks looked better offensively when Stoudemire returned with 5:06 left in the third quarter and Portland leading by six. He got his first basket when Anthony found him inside with 3:11 left, and he showed his old explosive finishing ability with a dunk later in the period, but the Knicks couldn't close much of the gap because of their poor defense on Batum. The Frenchman scored 13 points and made three 3-pointers in the quarter, giving the Blazers a 78-71 advantage.

Notes: The Knicks fell to 16-7 overall and 13-3 at home on New Year's Day. The record by an opponent for points against the Knicks on Jan. 1 is held by Woodson, who scored 36 for the Clippers in 1988. ... The Blazers' blowout loss here last March came hours after Mike D'Antoni resigned and Woodson became the interim coach. Blazers coach Nate McMillan was fired the next day.