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NBA Preview: New York Knicks (40-30) at Portland Trail Blazers (31-37)

Following his season-worst shooting performance, Julius Randle put on the kind of performance that has earned him two All-Star honors.

When the New York Knicks take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, Randle will attempt to score 30 points for the fifth time in 11 games since the All-Star break.

Randle scored 33 points on Sunday night as the Knicks defeated the host Los Angeles Lakers 112-108 to end a three-game losing streak.

In the previous game, Randle shot just 5-of-24 for a season-low 20.8 percent field goal success rate in a 106-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the same arena.

During New York’s most recent nine-game winning streak of the season, Randle scored 43 points, matching his career high of 46 points.

However, Randle made just 18 of 63 shots (28.6%) during the following three games before making 11 of 24 against the Lakers and contributing eight rebounds and five assists.

Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks’ coach, was not concerned, but he was happy that his best player had returned to form.

RJ Barrett likewise succeeded Sunday with 30 places. In the past five games, he has scored at least 25 points in four of them.

As a result of Thibodeau’s announcement that star point guard Jalen Brunson (foot) will likely miss the fifth time in six games, Randle and Barrett will be asked to perform once more on Tuesday.

As a result of All-Star guard Damian Lillard missing Sunday’s 127-110 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans due to calf tightness, Portland has its own injury concerns. In his last 28 games, Lillard has scored at least 20 points, including a career-high 71 against the Houston Rockets on February 26.

The Trail Blazers lost for the eighth time in their past 11 games and trailed by as many as 39 points when Lillard was absent. Without Lillard, Portland is 5-9 this season.

The Pioneers went 2-4 on the six-game excursion that finished in New Orleans, however play eight of their next nine games at home.

Coach Chauncey Billups wants his team to step it up, as Portland is 13th in the Western Conference and two games behind the final play-in position as of Monday.

To make the score appear less lopsided, the Trail Blazers outscored New Orleans 37-18 in the final quarter.

On Nov. 25, the Trail Blazers defeated the host Knicks in overtime 132-129, with Jerami Grant scoring a career-high 44 points and Anfernee Simons adding 38.

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