Brunson scores 45 points and the Knicks roll past the Trail Blazers, 105-93


PORTLAND, Ore. — Jalen Brunson scored 45 points and the New York Knicks rolled past the Portland Trail Blazers, 105-93 on Thursday night.

Donte DiVincenzo and OG Anunoby had 12 points apiece for the Knicks, who have won four of their last six as they jockey for playoff position in the Eastern Conference with 16 games left in the season.

Deandre Ayton had 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Blazers, playing the second of a back-to-back and the last of a six-game homestand. Portland beat the Atlanta Hawks 106-102 on Wednesday night.

The Knicks led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter. Portland got within 98-87 on a long jumper from Ayton with 3:54 left but the comeback bid stalled.

Anfernee Simons, who led Portland with 36 points against the Hawks, was sidelined Thursday. Coach Chauncey Billups said the knee had bothered Simons for a while and after he played more than 40 minutes against the Hawks the decision was made to keep him out.

Jerami Grant missed his second straight game for the Blazers because of a nagging right hamstring strain.

Anunoby played in his second straight game after returning from right elbow surgery on Tuesday for a 106-79 victory at home against Philadelphia. There was a scare when Anunoby grabbed his elbow during the first half and was later seen icing it on the bench. He returned to start the second half.

Before the game, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau offered condolences to the family of former Knicks player RJ Barrett for the death of younger brother Nathan. Barrett’s current team, the Toronto Raptors, announced Nathan’s death in a statement. Details were not known.

The Knicks had a 26-25 edge after the first quarter, then pulled away in the second on a 15-2 run capped by Isaiah Hartenstein’s jumper that made it 44-33.

New York went into the break ahead 55-41, led by Brunson with 21 points. When Brunson went to the line for free throws, some in the significant crowd of Knicks fans at the Moda Center shouted “MVP!”

The Knicks pushed the lead to as many as 20 points in the third quarter and went into the final period up 85-68.

Ayton finished with his seventh straight double-double.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Visit the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Trail Blazers: Visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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