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Blazers Look To Snap Losing Skid, Face Knicks

LaMarcus Aldridge came up big the last time the Blazers played the Knicks.

LaMarcus Aldridge came up big the last time the Blazers played the Knicks.

The Portland Trail Blazers will look to snap a four-game road losing skid Wednesday as the team travels to Manhattan to face the New York Knicks.

Tip-off at Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

Portland (34-14, 15-9 road) hasn’t won away from the Rose City since defeating the Dallas Mavericks on January 18, but a trip to the World’s Most Famous Arena may be enough to have Terry Stotts’ side licking its proverbial lips.

The Blazers began the year with all cylinders, well, blazing. One of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season, the team ran out to a 25-7 record and top place in the Northwest Division.

Things haven’t gone quite so well since the calendar flipped over to 2014. Since January 1, the Blazers are just 9-7. Their perch at the top of the division has fallen by the wayside and now the team sits four games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

What’s more, the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets are gaining ground in the race for the No. 3 berth in the Western Conference.

The Blazers’ fall in fortunes was on display this past Monday, as the team lost 100-90 to the Washington Wizards.

The Portland Tribune described the Blazers as “missing in action” as the Wizards outscored the team 26-14 in the third quarter to take an insurmountable lead. The defeat marked the first time this campaign the Blazers have lost on the road against an Eastern Conference side.

Losers of five of the last eight, and four straight on the road, the Blazers need to return to winning ways sooner rather than later.

Wednesday night could be soon enough.

After a wretched start to the season, New York (19-29, 11-16 home) has shown glimpses of turning things around. Those glimpses have come amidst some seriously streaky play.

The Knicks are 10-8 since January 1, a record that has seen the side compile winning streaks of four and five games divided by a five-game losing stretch. Look the word streaky up in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of the Knickerbockers.

Mike Woodson’s side has lost two straight, including a 101-98 defeat to the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, thanks to Brandon Knight’s 3-point dagger with 1.4 seconds left on the clock.

Woodson and Co. are hoping that result was just an anomaly and not part of another prolonged losing streak. The latter might be the case as a Portland side that has won three straight against the Knicks arrives at Madison Square Garden.

The two sides met earlier this season at Moda Center in Portland. The Blazers earned a 102-91 victory that night, parrying Carmelo Anthony’s 34-point, 15-rebound performance. LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 18 points and 14 rebounds that night while Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum both scored 23 points.

Carmelo Anthony's name is once more gracing the rumor mill.

Carmelo Anthony’s name is once more circulating around the rumor mill.

Anthony, the NBA’s second leading scorer behind Kevin Durant, has scored 26 points or more in his last 10 contests. That stretch included his historic 62-point performance against the Charlotte Bobcats on January 24.

With the February 20 trade deadline looming, the focus is generally shifting from Anthony’s scoring prowess to his future with the Knicks. A big time performance against the Blazers on Wednesday would likely fan the fire for both sides of that particular argument.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks odds for 02/05/2014

Portland opened as the favorite over New York when the lines were unveiled by Vegas earlier.

The Blazers have gotten the lion’s share of results when playing the Knicks in recent years. As well as having won three straight, Portland has taken 10 of the last 13 meetings between the sides, including five of the last seven played in Madison Square Garden.

The Blazers are 7-1 when playing Atlantic Division opponents this season, that one mark coming in a two-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Conversely, New York is 0-4 when playing Northwest Division opponents.

The spread opened at 3.5 but saw some immediate action, dropping to 2. Having not won on the road in more than two weeks, the Blazers are something of a risky bet. Until you look at New York’s record against the spread.

The Knicks (20-28-0 ATS) are just 9-18-0 ATS at home and 8-17-0 ATS as an underdog. The team from Manhattan failed to cover in its November 25 meeting with the Blazers.

Portland (25-23-0 ATS) is 13-11-0 ATS on the road, but just 16-19-0 ATS as the favorite. The Blazers are also 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games against the Knicks.

The over/under opened at 210 and immediately dropped to 207.

Both Portland (30-17-1) and New York (26-22-0) have favored the over this season.

The Blazers have seen the total go over in 13 of 19 games against Eastern Conference opponents this season, but their last meeting with the Knicks ended with the total going under. Prior to that, three straight Blazers-Knicks games had ended with the over.

After Wednesday night’s game in New York, the Blazers will face the Indiana Pacers on Friday (7:00 p.m. ET) in a nationally televised matchup. Odds and trends for that game will be available closer to the game.


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