PORTLAND, Ore. — Clyde Drexler had 27 points and Steve Johnson scored 8 of his 22 in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first half, lifting Portland to its ninth straight NBA victory, 117-99, over the New York Knicks Sunday night.
The Knicks led 52-44 late in the first half when Johnson started a 13-2 streak with three straight baskets. The spurt gave the Trail Blazers a 57-54 halftime lead, and they never trailed in the second half.
Jerome Kersey had 23 points for Portland as he continued to play well in relief of high-scoring forward Kiki Vandeweghe, who has missed eight of the nine victories in the winning streak because of a sore back.
The winning streak equals the longest in club history. Portland, which has beaten the Knicks in each of their last eight meetings, won nine straight in 1979-80 and in 1980-81.
The Trail Blazers, who now lead the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers by a half-game in the Pacific Division, outscored New York 16-4 in the first five minutes of the third quarter and boosted their lead to 92-71 at the end of the period.