The New York Knicks attempt to halt a nine-game skid when they visit the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. The game will be the second under interim coach Mike Miller, who replaced the fired David Fizdale after the club's porous 4-18 start.
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Miller, a former college and G League head coach, almost won in his debut before the team succumbed 104-103 to the Indiana Pacers when forward Julius Randle split two free throws with 0.1 seconds to play. "You get in those games, you've got to make another play and we just didn't make another play," Miller said afterward. "Loved the effort. That was fun." Portland dropped three of its past four games and shot 36 percent from the field during Sunday's 108-96 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. "I just thought our urgency wasn't where it needed to be," star point guard Damian Lillard said afterward. "... Then the ball's not going in so we don't lock in and stay sharp on the defensive end. We just allowed them to do pretty much what they wanted."
TV: 10 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), NBCS Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE KNICKS (4-19): Miller has seen some bad habits from the Knicks this season and is hoping to curb patterns of inconsistency. "We have a high character group of players, they're professional, they come in and work every day," Miller told reporters. "The message is we want to be more consistent. And we're going to be more consistent in what we do and how we work play to play and possession to possession." Forward Marcus Morris scored 25 points in the loss to Indiana for his 12th 20-point outing of the season.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (9-15): Portland went 9-of-33 from 3-point range in the loss to the Thunder and Lillard is frustrated with some of the things he is seeing. "We're a team that if the ball's not going in, we gotta be getting to the 50-50 balls, we can't be letting teams get second and third opportunities," Lillard said. "We foul every 30 seconds. I mean we are doing a lot of things as a team that are putting us at a disadvantage." Lillard scored 26 points but he was one of the cold shooters by going 8-of-24 from the field, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range.
1. The Trail Blazers won the past five meetings.
2. New York SG Wayne Ellington (Achilles) could miss his second straight game.
3. Portland F Carmelo Anthony was just 4-of-18 shooting versus Oklahoma City and is 8-of-31 over the past two games.
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