Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Amar'e Stoudemire makes his season debut for the Knicks, coming off the bench, but New York can't keep Portland from walking out of Madison Square Garden with a win, 105-100.
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire's season debut did not go as hoped, as the Knicks dropped just their third game at home this season, falling to the Portland Trail Blazers, 105-100, despite Stoudemire's presence and Carmelo Anthony's 45 points.
Stoudemire, who came off the bench and started the game 0-for-5 in his first 10 minutes played in his return from knee surgery, finished with six points in his 17 minutes. The renewed size of the Knicks, however, did little to slow down a persistent Blazers offensive attack most of the night.
Portland forward Nicolas Batum led the four Blazers who scored in double figures, as Batum scored 26 points on 6-of-12 shooting from three-point range to go with his six assists and four rebounds. Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge posted a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Knicks would close the gap to three points in the final minute of the fourth quarter, but the Blazers did just enough to hold off New York. The balanced offensive attack from Portland worked to build the Blazers' lead early, despite Anthony's production and Knicks guard J.R. Smith's 28 points off the bench.