Portland blaze trail through New York
AP/AFPIn Portland, Damian Lillard had 26 points and 10 assists to lead the Trail Blazers to a 105-90 victory over the Knicks on Thursday night, outplaying New York point guard Raymond Felton in his return to Portland.
March 16, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nicolas Batum added 18 points for Portland, where Felton drew the ire of fans during a disappointing stint last season. The crowd was on Felton all night.
J.R. Smith had 33 points and Kenyon Martin added 12 to lead New York, which went ice cold in second half, shooting just 33 percent. The Knicks lead the Atlantic Division but have lost three straight after a rash of injuries that has decimated their starting five.
Tyson Chandler suffered a bruised knee in a collision Wednesday at Denver and was unavailable. Leading scorer Carmelo Anthony returned to New York to have his right knee drained after leaving Wednesday's game early. Amare Stoudemire is expected to miss at least six weeks after having knee surgery on Tuesday.
New York shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and led for most of it. Marcus Camby's layup gave the Knicks 41-28 lead midway through the second quarter. However, the Blazers put together a charge just before halftime, ending the half with a 13-0 run to go into the break with a 51-48 advantage.
Portland kept the momentum in the third, going up 64-54 on Lillard's driving layup. Portland led 78-62 after three quarters as the Knicks went 5 of 27 from the field in the quarter.
Smith had 18 in the fourth for the Knicks, who got within 80-76, but the Blazers regained control with a 15-2 run.
Spurs 92, Mavericks 91 In San Antonio, Tim Duncan finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs clinched a playoff spot by edging the Dallas Mavericks 92-91 on Thursday night.
Duncan made the most of his return to the lineup as he missed the Spurs' 107-83 loss on Tuesday to struggling Minnesota with a sore knee.
Gary Neal added 16 points and Kawhi Leonard, who also sat during Tuesday's loss, had 12 along with six rebounds for San Antonio, who earned a playoff spot for the 16th straight season.
Dallas came into the game having matched a season high with four consecutive victories. They appeared to be poised to add their fifth after scoring seven unanswered points to pull within 92-91 in the closing seconds.
The Mavericks got the ball back with a chance to score, but Vince Carter's three-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Germany's Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, with Darren Collison scoring 12 points in the loss.
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan reacts after making a shot and being fouled late in the second half of an NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks in San Antonio, Thursday, March ...