NEW YORK (AP) — The shots were falling. The crowd was roaring. Everything was set up for this to be Carmelo Anthony’s night.
Then he sat down to start the fourth quarter, and the Knicks had ruined those hopes by the time he got back up.
Mitchell Robinson made all 11 shots and had 22 points, Julius Randle added 22 points and 13 rebounds, and New York spoiled Anthony’s strong return to Madison Square Garden by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-93 on Wednesday for its season-high third straight victory.
Anthony scored 26 points, his most since returning to the NBA in November after a year absence, and was cheered before and during the game at the arena where he played 6 1/2 seasons. But he was on the bench at the start of the Knicks’ 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter that broke open the game and sent the Trail Blazers to their fifth straight loss.
“Overall, the experience and just being back today I think is the most important thing,” Anthony said. “The loss is something that we’ll get to the bottom of. We’ll figure it out. It happens. You have to take your hat off to those guys, they played extremely well tonight. The way that they shot the ball, the way that they were locked in, they deserved to win tonight.”
Reggie Bullock made two three-pointers during the spurt and scored 11 points in his Knicks debut.
He signed with the team during the summer but hadn’t played because of a herniated disk.
“It’s just great to be back out there seeing the ball go through the hoop and playing out there with my teammates,” Bullock said. “I signed here for a reason, and I knew what the guys that we signed were capable of doing. I’m glad to be out there playing with them.”