The only saving grace from the way the Knicks allowed themselves to be brutalized by the Blazers’ Zach Randolph and Darius Miles last night is that hardly anyone can claim they saw it happen writes the Oregonian’s Mike Tokito.

The Trail Blazers pulled out a come-from-behind win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday, and fewer people than ever watched the excitement at the team’s state-of-the-art arena.

The announced attendance of 12,296 set a franchise low for a home game since the team moved into the Rose Garden during the 1995-96 season.

The count included giveaways and no-shows, and the actual attendance appeared to be lower as several full sections were nearly empty in an arena that seats 19,980 for NBA basketball.

The previous low was 13,454, set Feb. 9 for a game against New Orleans. That came during the 2004-05 season in which average attendance dipped to 16,594, the lowest since the franchise moved to the Rose Garden. The continued decline is particularly noticeable for a franchise that had sellouts in its final 809 games at its previous home arena, Memorial Coliseum.

Team President Steve Patterson said he is not surprised at Wednesday’s attendance low.

“I think we’ll have fewer fans than we’ve had in the past,” Patterson said. “The biggest issue is that Portland is historically a single-game ticket market, and those sales aren’t going to be as high as they have been.

With their backcourt solidified by the additions of veterans Sam Cassell and Cutino Mobley (shown defending Antwain Jamison, above), this looks to be the year the Clippers can finally lay claim to being LA’s best team. Last night’s 102-97 victory over Washington improved the Clips’ record to 4-1, as Elton Brand ran riot for 31 points.