Knicks advance to 5-0 after OG Anunoby trade with…

Knicks advance to 5-0 after OG Anunoby trade with 38-point victory over Trail Blazers.

NEW YORK – OG Anunoby’s only flustered moment came when Madison Square Garden chanted his name. After getting fouled following an offensive rebound midway through the second quarter of a blowout 112-84 Knicks victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, Anunoby stepped to the free throw line amid intensifying applause and relentless “OG” chants.

The Knicks are winning big and having fun - Posting and Toasting

His first free throw was off-target. Then he calmly sank the second. Anunoby scored 16 points on four-of-five shooting from downtown in the first quarter alone and finished the game with a team-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. It marked his highest-scoring game since his trade to New York and tied for sixth-most in any game he’s played this season with the Toronto Raptors.

The Knicks are now 5-0 since trading RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto for their new starting forward. They are also 15-1 against teams with losing records, and have a number of below-.500 teams on the docket between now and the NBA All-Star break. Conversely, this is the same Trail Blazers team that came back from down double digits to beat the Brooklyn Nets in overtime at Barclays Center on Sunday. At this rate, the Knicks will be taking the Nets to the woodshed, too, when the two teams meet again at Barclays on Jan. 23. They worked to neutralize every potential threat a limited Trail Blazers roster posted on Tuesday.

By the time the Knicks built a 33-point third-quarter lead, Trail Blazers leading scorer Anfernee Simons (25.5 points per game) had only scored 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field. He would finish the night with that stat line, glued to the bench with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Portland’s sweet-shooting big man Duop Reath – filling in for the injured Deandre Ayton- only made one trey on three attempts. The Knicks’ drop coverage defense had been susceptible to stretch five centers, and Reath, who is shooting 37 percent from downtown this season, shot three-of-four from deep against the Nets two nights earlier. And Jerami Grant’s 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field may as well have been a donut: empty calories. Malcolm Brogdon was supposed to be the story of the night, but the Knicks cut his water off, too.

The Knicks have been linked to Brogdon, a veteran point guard with playoff experience who was cast-off in from the Boston Celtics as part of the Jrue Holiday trade. Brogdon played 13 minutes and shot one-of-five from the field for two points. Quite the audition against a Knicks team actively looking to bolster its roster. It was a wire-to-wire victory for a Knicks team that never trailed and blew the game open in the first quarter.The Knicks are winning big and having fun - Posting and Toasting

The Knicks scored 38 points in the opening period and never looked back. They held the Trail Blazers to just 41 first-half points and no more than 22 points in any of the first three periods. And the only thing the Knicks couldn’t do was get Julius Randle to dunk on 7-foot-1 backup Trail Blazers center Ibou Badji. Randle challenged Badji at the rim and had a one-hand dunk attempt ferociously stuffed at the apex. He couldn’t help but laugh.

Randle flirted with a triple-double and finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists; Brunson finished with 12 points and seven assists; and the combo of Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride combined to score 33 points off the bench. The Knicks now prepare for a two-game road trip beginning with a much stiffer test in Dallas against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks. They then travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies, but All-Star guard Ja Morant is out for the season after a surgery-inducing shoulder injury.

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