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Roy leads undermanned Trail Blazers past sliding Knicks

Mar 23, 2007 - 5:16 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Rookie Brandon Roy sent the New York Knicks home scratching their heads once again.

Roy scored 24 points and Jamaal Magloire added 14 and 16 rebounds as the undermanned Portland Trail Blazers executed down the stretch en route to a 92-86 victory over the Knicks.

Jarrett Jack scored 15 points for the Trail Blazers, who played without their leading scorer and rebounder, forward Zach Randolph, who missed his second straight game on bereavement leave.

"We're missing our 23 and 10 guy, but at the same time we feel we got some other players that we feel can step up and try to hold things down until he gets back," Roy said. "It is going to be hard to play 82 (games) without him, but for these four or five games that we play without him, we're going to try and make sure we step up."

A leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, Roy made up for Randolph's absence, shooting 8-of-18 from the field. The 6-5 guard used a combination of power and elusiveness to drive into the teeth of the Knicks' defense.

"Since the All-Star break, I've been trying to show more of a leadership role and try to really put my stamp on this team," Roy said. "When (Randolph) had to go away for a little bit, I take it as a challenge to come out here and make sure this team performs.

"I think the guys accept that challenge. We want to go out there and prove we have a lot of good young talent on this team."

Roy's heroics delivered a deflating loss to New York (30-38), which now is one-half game behind Indiana (30-37) and Orlando (31-38) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It's frustrating for us," Knicks forward Channing Frye said. "I think because we didn't take care of our business. We had opportunities to win and we have opportunities to put ourselves in and we don't take advantage of them.

"This was a huge game for us to win, and we just didn't do that tonight. We have to pick up and move on. They have a lot of athletes and did a great job of getting us out of rhythm."

Losers of five of their last seven games, the Knicks continue to disappoint against sub-.500 squads. New York also has dropped games to slumping Seattle and New Orleans during its recent slide.

"We need every game," New York guard Stephon Marbury said. "This is the NBA, just because (Portland's) record isn't good, that doesn't mean that they can't play. It's very important (to win at home). We're in no situation where we can lose home games, especially when we have to go back on the road."

After Knicks guard Nate Robinson reeled off six straight points to cut the deficit to two with 2:30 left, Roy made a free throw and Ime Udoka found rookie LaMarcus Aldridge for an uncontested dunk to make it 89-84 with 1:43 left.

Robinson scored 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including a career-high eight shots from the arc, and Marbury added 17 for the Knicks.

But Robinson was more concerned with getting back in the win column at Cleveland on Friday than talking about his stellar performance.

"It's tough because we practice hard," Robinson said. "(Coach) Isiah (Thomas) does a good job giving us material to go out and win the game. We wanted it bad. We come out, play hard and lose. It is frustrating, but we'll use it as motivation to go in Cleveland and try to win."

Facing a swarming defense, Knicks center Eddy Curry scored just eight points on 4-of-11 shooting.

"I can't get a shot," Curry said. "They don't have to foul me if they got two guys on me. It's tough. I think we're still in the thick of it. Every game that we lose is tougher for us, but we got it within us to do better and win games. It's all up to us."

Star reserve David Lee returned after missing 11 games with injuries to his right leg. The 6-9 forward did not score and grabbed five rebounds in just nine minutes.

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