Simons has 30, Blazers beat Knicks with huge rally in 4th

Feb 12, 2022, 2:48 AM | Updated: 6:07 pm

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons takes a three point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

(AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Anfernee Simons had 30 points and eight assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 23-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the New York Knicks 112-103 on Saturday.

Newly acquired guard Josh Hart, one of several players new to Portland’s roster after a flurry of trades before the deadline, added 23 points in his Blazers debut.

“It was crazy,” Hart said. “I’m definitely going to love playing here.”

Portland closed the gap to 98-92 in the final period when Simons and Ben McLemore hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Jusuf Nurkic’s dunk finally put Portland in front 99-98 with 4:23 left, capping a 20-4 run.

The teams traded 3-pointers from Alec Burks and Simons before Hart’s layup gave Portland a 106-101 lead with just under 2 minutes to play and New York couldn’t catch up. Portland outscored the Knicks 35-11 in the fourth quarter.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 28 points and 16 rebounds, while Kemba Walker finished with 23 points.

“We just fell apart,” Walker said. “They got momentum and never looked back. Pretty disappointing.”

Hart was acquired in a multiple-player trade that sent longtime Blazers guard CJ McCollum to New Orleans. The move marked something of an end to an era in Portland with McCollum and Damian Lillard anchoring the backcourt.

“He plays with a sense of urgency all the time, and chip on his shoulder all the time,” Blazers first-year coach Chauncey Billups said about Hart, who is in his fourth season in the league. “He loves to play defense. You know, he loves to take matchups on offensively. He can obviously shoot the basketball but he’s a downhill driver.”

Lillard hasn’t played in the new year because of an abdominal issue that required surgery. There was no timetable for his return, although it appeared unlikely he’d come back this season.

Justise Winslow, another newcomer who came via a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, also started and finished with 14 points.

“They are guys who want to learn, guys who give everything that they’ve got,” Hart said of his new teammates. “So it was exciting. We’re obviously building for the future, but any and every minute we can get of in-game experience, for even myself but also these young guys, is great.”

The Knicks were without RJ Barrett, who missed his second game with a sprained left ankle, and center Nerlens Noel, who had a sore left foot.

The Knicks were cold at the start, and Portland took a 12-2 lead paced by Hart with a pair of 3-pointers. New York eventually warmed up, taking a 53-48 lead into halftime.

Rookie Quentin Grimes hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Knicks’ lead to 72-56 in the third.

Nurkic finished with 12 points and 20 rebounds for Portland.

“Competitiveness, toughness, discipline. All that matters. Everyone goes through tough times on a road trip. Thirty-five to 11 in the 4th quarter, badly outrebounded, is going to make it hard to win that game,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The game was played at 2 p.m. local time, which was unusual for a Saturday game in Portland, but it was one of the NBA games this season designated for primetime TV in Europe.


Knicks: Saturday’s game marked the end of a five-game road trip. … It was the first of two games against the Blazers this season. … Grimes made his fourth start of the season. … The Knicks were coming off a 116-114 victory at Golden State that snapped a four-game losing streak.

Trail Blazers: Elijah Hughes, acquired from the Utah Jazz with Joe Ingles in a three-team trade on Wednesday, made his Blazers debut. Ingles is out for the season after a left ACL tear. … Hart had a season-best 13 points in the opening half. … Portland downed the Lakers 107-105 on Wednesday to snap a six-game skid.


Although the Blazers are clearly looking toward the future with recent roster moves, they’ve had a pair of thrilling wins, first against the Lakers and then the comeback Saturday versus the Knicks. Not the type of run for fans eager for a high lottery pick.

“For fans who want to see us lose, I guess just turn the TV off when it gets close,” Billups joked.


Knicks: Host Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Trail Blazers: Visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A middle school football team practices Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma has a...
Associated Press

Oklahoma sports ‘biological sex affidavit’ raises questions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — J.D. Runnels and his son, James, share a love for football. Runnels played for the University of Oklahoma and in the National Football League, and he coached in the United States Football League this past season. His son plays center for Southridge Middle School’s eighth-grade team in Moore, an Oklahoma City […]
1 day ago
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates beside teammates after scoring a touch...
Associated Press

Kenny Pickett will be Steelers’ starting QB vs. Bills

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Kenny Pickett Era is officially underway in Pittsburgh. The rookie quarterback will make his first career start Sunday when the Steelers visit Buffalo. Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the draft, made his regular season debut in the second half of a 24-20 loss to the New York Jets. He ran […]
1 day ago
Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot against Daria Saville of Australia during a singles match in th...
Associated Press

Naomi Osaka to publish picture book ‘The Way Champs Play’

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka has some life lessons she’d like to share. The tennis superstar has a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for a children’s picture book, “The Way Champs Play,” scheduled to come out Dec. 6. Illustrated by Kamala Nair, the book was arranged through Osaka’s new media company, Hana Kuma. The story […]
1 day ago
Ukrainian fans cheer prior to the star of the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Scotland and...
Associated Press

Source: Ukraine to join Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup bid

GENEVA (AP) — Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in a combined bid to host the 2030 World Cup. A person familiar with the project told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Ukraine is being added to the Spain-Portugal bid. The revitalized bid, which has been in the works for more than three […]
1 day ago
FILE - Texas forward Tiffany Jackson (33) points during Big 12 women's basketball tournament practi...
Associated Press

Former Texas standout and WNBA player Jackson dies at 37

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tiffany Jackson, a former standout at the University of Texas who was the No. 5 pick in the WNBA draft in 2007 and played nine years in the league, has died of cancer, the school announced. She was 37. Jackson, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, died Monday. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

10 mountaineers killed after avalanche in northern India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 10 trainee mountaineers died Tuesday after being swept away by an avalanche in the Himalayas in northern India, media reports said, as rescuers searched for 11 others missing. A group of 29 people was hit by an avalanche on a mountain peak located in the Gangotri range of the […]
1 day ago
Simons has 30, Blazers beat Knicks with huge rally in 4th