Anunoby scores 23, Knicks improve to 5-0 with the forward by routing Trail Blazers

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OG Anunoby scored 23 points, his most since coming to New York, and the Knicks won their fifth in a row since he joined their lineup with a 112-84 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Anunoby scored 16 in a first quarter, when the Knicks opened a 19-point lead that would grow to 39 in the third quarter. The forward went 6 for 7 in the period, 4 of 5 behind the 3-point arc, and was already just a point shy of the 17 he scored in his Knicks debut against Minnesota on New Year’s Day, his previous best since coming from Toronto in a Dec. 30 trade.

He might have approached his season high of 29, also at Madison Square Garden while playing for the Raptors last month, but the starters didn’t need to play much in the second half.

Julius Randle added 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Knicks, who moved a half-game ahead of Miami, Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland for fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 22-15. Quentin Grimes scored 17 points and fellow reserve guard Miles McBride had 16.

Jerami Grant scored 21 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Anfernee Simons was the only player in double figures with 12.

The Knicks are not only undefeated since getting Anunoby in the deal that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto, they are dominant when last season’s NBA steals leader is on the floor. They had outscored their first four opponents by 85 points when Anunoby was in the game, and they were 26 points better than the Blazers in his 29 minutes Tuesday.

Portland cut it to 13 in the second quarter, but then Grimes and Brunson hit consecutive 3-pointers, Josh Hart made a layup and Grimes made another 3 to cap an 11-0 burst that extended it to 54-30 midway through the period. New York led 63-41 at the half.

Randle scored 10 points in the third quarter, including a layup that gave the Knicks their biggest lead at 94-55 with 2:24 remaining in the period.

Jalen Brunson, the reigning player of the week in the Eastern Conference, had 12 points and seven assists in just 26 minutes.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Visit Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Knicks: Visit Dallas on Thursday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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