LAS VEGAS — The only way for the Knicks to leave Sin City with new bling is to go to the jewelry store.
Their goal of winning a Summer Championship title took a major hit on Monday night. After back-to-back wins, they couldn’t build on a strong start in an 88-77 loss to the Trail Blazers at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Their energy, defensive tenacity and general acumen were lacking in their second game in as many days as Portland pulled out late. Quentin Grimes was the top Knick, scoring 24 points and three steals, and Miles McBride added 16 points, four assists and three steals. Jabari Walker had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
Unlike Saturday night’s blowout against the Bulls, the opponent fought back. The Knicks led 13-0 out of the gate and held a 26-13 advantage at one point, but the Trail Blazers found other gear after their flat start.
Portland led by one at halftime and by no less than five points at the end of the third quarter. The Knicks seemed to have tired legs, their shots often short. After scoring 24 points in the opening court, they only managed 33 in the next 20 minutes.
The Knicks face the Magic on Thursday, followed by a game to be announced. The Knicks won’t see No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero because Orlando shut him down for the remainder of the summer league.
New York Post