Early on, without their two stars, the Knicks displayed a balanced attack and consistently attacked the rim.
Nine Knicks scored in the first half, led by 10 points from 35-year-old Kenyon Martin. Marcus Camby came off the bench to score eight, and J.R. Smith added nine, including several strong drives to the rim (and one emphatic dunk). New York had 22 paint points.
They had just five 3-point attempts in the first half.
But Portland outscored the Knicks 26-6 during a stretch spanning parts of the second and third quarters and took a 16-point lead into the fourth.
How'd they get there? Thanks in part to rookie Damian Lillard. Lillard had 26 points and 10 assists and led five Blazers who scored in double figures.
UNHAPPY HOMECOMING FOR RAY: Ex-Blazer Ray Felton got booed early and often at the Rose Garden. Felton came into the 2011-12 season out of shape with the Blazers and quickly fell out of favor with the fans and organization.
He finished with 11 points and two turnovers, missing eight of 12 shots.
Smith led the Knicks with 33 points. Martin finished with 12.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks have two days off before facing the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. They wrap up the road trip at Utah on Monday.