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Matthews helps Blazers beat Knicks 101-79

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews had 28 points, including six 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the short-handed New York Knicks 101-79 on Sunday night.

Matthews, who leads the NBA with 106 3-pointers this season, made five 3s in the first half against the Knicks. Teammate Nicolas Batum had five 3-pointers and 17 points.

It was the eighth straight loss for the Knicks, who had just nine available players to start the game, and then lost Carmelo Anthony for the second half because of a sore left knee.

Portland, which led by as many as 27 points, has won eight of its last nine games.

Cole Aldrich had 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for New York, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points.

The Blazers were without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who has missed three of the last four games with an upper respiratory illness, including the Blazers’ 114-93 victory over Philadelphia on Friday.

The Knicks were without J.R. Smith, who is having ongoing issues with his left heel. Samuel Dalembert was sidelined by a sprained right ankle, and Amare Stoudemire missed the game with a sore right knee.

To make matters worse, Anthony, who had been nursing a sore left knee, did not return for the second half. Anthony had 36 points in a 135-129 overtime loss at Sacramento on Saturday night.

The high-scoring forward had 13 points in the first half, but grimaced at times in pain.

Matthews made three 3-pointers in the first quarter, helping the Blazers to a 31-22 lead.

Batum hit a 3 to extend the lead to 50-32 in the second. At that moment of the game, 30 of Portland’s points were from 3-pointers by either Matthews or Batum.

Batum made a 3 in the third quarter that pushed Portland’s lead to 71-47. The Blazers went 16 for 36 from long range for the game.

TIP-INS

Knicks: It was the eighth of 20 back-to-backs for the Knicks this season. Among those, the Knicks have won just one of the second games. … Aldrich’s previous career high for rebounds was 13.

Blazers: C Chris Kaman was back on the floor a day after he and his wife Emilie welcomed baby Barrett Christopher Kaman, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. … Joel Freeland had 10 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Trail Blazers: Host Toronto on Tuesday night.

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