New York Knicks defeat Portland Trail Blazers, 93-84

Not so long ago, the Knicks were sporting an embarrassing 1-9 record and in danger of becoming irrelevant before the New Year.

But in the watered-down NBA, where a winning streak can surface at any moment, the Knicks are suddenly crawling back toward respectability.

They have now won three straight games after beating the depleted Portland Trail Blazers, 93-84, Monday night at the Garden and improving to 7-15. Mike D'Antoni has found a winning formula by shortening the ...

There will be a time to celebrate the Knicks' renaissance, their ascension in the standings and their fourth victory in five games. It just felt wrong to cheer their 93-84 win too loudly Monday night, because they were pounding a team reeling from a host of horrors.

You listened to the Trail Blazers talk about their stricken center, Greg Oden, and you quickly understood that this past week had been wrenching for the NBA franchise. Oden went down again on Saturday, fract...