RJ Barrett and Elfrid Payton combined to score 10 consecutive points spanning the halves Saturday afternoon for the host New York Knicks, who went on to beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-99.
Payton scored 22 points for the Knicks, who have won two straight. Julius Randle (22 points, 11 rebounds) had a double-double while Barrett finished with 18 points. Reggie Bullock scored 10 points while Alec Burks (16 points) and Immanuel Quickley (12 points) each got into double digits off the bench.
Damian Lillard, who missed Thursday’s 121-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers with an abdominal injury, had 29 points and nine assists for the Trail Blazers, who went 3-3 on a six-game road trip. Robert Covington (13 points, 10 rebounds) and former Knicks player Enes Kanter (13 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles while Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Anfernee Simons added 12 points.
Carmelo Anthony, who won the NBA scoring title while leading New York to its most recent playoff berth in 2012-13, was limited to two points in 17 minutes.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Lillard to end the first quarter gave the Trail Blazers their biggest lead at 31-26. The teams were tied four times in the second before a driving layup by Payton put the Knicks ahead 51-49. Following a jumper by Lillard to tie it for a fifth time, Barrett and Payton hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close out the first half and give New York a 57-51 lead.
Barrett and Payton opened the third quarter with consecutive baskets to extend the Knicks’ lead to 10. The Trail Blazers pulled within five points three times in the third and again in the opening seconds of the fourth, when Simone’s 3-pointer cut New York’s lead to 84-79.
The teams then traded 6-0 runs, with Simone producing all of the Trail Blazers’ points in the spurt, before the Knicks took a 104-89 lead thanks to a 14-4 run. New York was scoreless from the field over the final four minutes but Portland missed four consecutive 3-pointers with a chance to cut the lead to four points.