The Knicks managed to silence a raucous crowd in Oklahoma City during the first quarter of action on Wednesday night. With an explosive 39-point first period, New York caught the Thunder back on its heels while Carmelo Anthony looked unstoppable by posting 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting in the quarter. The Knicks lead expanded to 17 points early in the second period before Oklahoma City fired back to close out the first half. In the middle of the second quarter, the Thunder blasted back on a 17-2 run to close the gap to just three points. Oklahoma City ended up snatching the lead at the half and maintained the momentum throughout the third quarter. By outscoring New York 26-20 in that third period, the Thunder built an 88-80 lead and cruised into the final stanza to earn the 116-105 victory. Russell Westbrook registered his 27th triple-double of the season with 38 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony’s prolific first quarter was impressive. The Knicks leading scorer didn’t miss a shot until late in the first period and dropped a team-high 30 points on 11-of-20. He also connected on 6-of-7 attempts from downtown in 39 minutes of court time.
Derrick Rose posted 25 points and seven assists, Courtney Lee added 16, and Willy Hernangomez grabbed 10 rebounds.
News and Notes:
Anthony will replace Kevin Love (injury) as an Eastern Conference All-Star on Sunday night in New Orleans. Hernangomez will also join Anthony and Porzingis in the Big Easy after the league placed him on the World roster for the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night. Joakim Noah was sidelined for his fifth straight game with a sore left hamstring. Brandon Jennings also missed tonight’s game due to a sore left Achilles.
Oklahoma City thrived in the open floor on Wednesday night with 25 fast break points. Both teams were extremely efficient from the arc by combining for 23 makes on 44 attempts.
The Knicks will return to New York following the final game before the All-Star break. Aside from Anthony, Porzingis, and Hernangomez, the team will have a week off to rest and prepare for the stretch run of the season. The next contest for New York is a road matchup against the defending champs in Cleveland on February 23.
by Jonah Ballow