On Sunday Afternoon, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, the Knicks (50-26) defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder (56-21) 125-120. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 36 points on 15-29 shooting from the floor. He has scored 167 points in the last four games. He also led the game in rebounding with 12 in which nine of them were offensive boards.
J.R. Smith scored 22 points off the bench on 7-18 shooting from the field. He added seven rebounds and four assists as well.
Raymond Felton scored 16 points on 5-12 shooting from the field. He also had a team high eight assists and had four rebounds, three of them offensive boards.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in scoring with 37 points on 15-27 shooting from the field. He led the Thunder in rebounding with 11, four of them offensive boards and led them in assists with eight.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points on 7-17 shooting from the floor. He was 13-15 from the free throw line and added seven assists, three rebounds and four blocks.
The Knicks had six players in double figures with Tyson Chandler scoring 15 points, Jason Kidd scoring 14 points (4-6 from 3) and Chris Copeland with 13 points.
The Knicks bench outscored the Thunder bench 55-30.
The Thunder shot 45-78 (58%) from the field including shooting 9-17 from three (53%) while the Knicks were 46-93 (49.5%) and made 15-34 from downtown (44%)
The Knicks had 22 assists and only six turnovers while the Thunder had 23 assists but 12 turnovers.
The 125 points scored by the Knicks is the most they have scored in one game all season. Their lowest output in one quarter was 29 which was in the fourth.
The Knicks Magic Number to clinch the Atlantic Division is now at One Game. They can next clinch the Division with a Nets loss tomorrow against the 76ers or a Win against the Wizards on Tuesday.
This is the first time the Knicks have won 50 games in a season since the 1999-2000 season when they went 50-32.
This 12 game winning streak is now the third longest winning streak in team history, only three behind the 1993-1994 run of 15 games for the second longest.
Proving people wrong since October, your 2012-2013 New York Knicks.
This team has had two wins this season that I felt stood out above all the rest of their 49 wins before today. The road win in San Antonio when they came back from down 12 in the fourth to win and the first road win in Miami when they beat them by 20 without Melo, Amar’e and Shumpert.
Today, you can most certainly put this win, in Oklahoma City against the Thunder, as one of the best wins of the season.
With everybody over 6’9 hurt for the Knicks, with the exception of Chandler and Novak, they were able to leave one of the toughest places to win with their 50th win of the year. They shot the lights out from three, did not turn the ball over and made big shot after big shot each time the Thunder made a run.
It was truly impressive how the Knicks never backed down when the Thunder, who it seemed at times could not miss, made their expected second half runs trying to comeback. We have heard, time and time again, Clyde say that a comeback is not complete until you take the lead and it takes so much out of you. They got a couple of one point leads in the fourth, but the Knicks only let them have the ball once with the lead once in the second half.
The Thunder defense, which only allowed 96.5 points coming into the game, gave up that many in three quarters and at times looked like they were daring a great three point shooting team to shoot threes. It made no sense to me how the Thunder got fooled time and time again by the Knicks driving and kicking out. They never stayed home on their man on the perimeter and trust their length to stop the Knicks from driving and left guys open for three all game long.
Then you have the lethal combination of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to help negate Westbrook and Durant with the Knicks bench, so good for most of the season, coming up big in the first half. They not only kept the Knicks in the game, but built them a lead by halftime that the Thunder were forced to battle back from basically the entire second half.
What Anthony has done specifically is put a team on his back and is carrying them to every goal they had coming into this regular season. His jumper is money, his drives to the rim are always with a purpose and strength that other guys in this league don’t have and he is playing at a level I have never seen another Knick play at for this long ever.
This was a playoff type atmosphere from the jump and this win feels like a playoff win considering all the things the Knicks had going against them and that they overcame them all to get the win.
If the same pundits who make a living on TV making predictions still doubt the Knicks, they better change their tune very quickly. This team was a J.R. Smith shot at the buzzer at home from sweeping the Thunder and Spurs and of course you can add in their 3-1 record against Miami as well.
A 4-0 record on the road against the Spurs, Thunder and Heat is something nobody else in this entire league can boast about. This team is absolutely on fire and they are doing all of this on the heels of the worst four game stretch of the season, a stretch that it seems happened about 10 years ago.
This march to the division title and a possible number two seed the past 12 games has been amazing to watch. We wont have to always go back to the 18-5 start when this stretch right here is the best they have played all season.
The Knicks are ready for the playoffs and after a win like today, on the road in OKC, they just put the NBA on high alert. This team is ready to make a run for a championship and no team will have an easy time stopping them from reaching that goal.
Coming up next the Knicks, are back home at the Garden with a chance to clinch the Atlantic Division or celebrate a Division Championship as they will take on John Wall, Emeka Okafor and the Washington Wizards. The game is on Tuesday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.