KNICKS 125 THUNDER 120 | CHESAPEAKE ARENA
How it happened:
Just move out of the way. The Knicks are steamrolling on a 12-game win streak that now features wins over the defending champs and on Sunday afternoon, a marquee 125-120 victory past the reigning Western Conference champs.
Carmelo Anthony remained red hot with 36 points, J.R. smith dropped 22 off the bench and New York tallied its 50th win for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
In a fantastic game between the two teams that hold the No. 2 spots in their respective conferences, New York managed to convert on the big plays late in the contest.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Knicks built a 98-89 advantage off a Tyson Chandler dunk. As expected, Oklahoma City answered on a 16-6 run to take back the lead when Kevin Durant drilled a midrange jumper at the 6:47 mark. The Thunder crowd erupted at that point, creating an extremely difficult environment for the road team to recapture the momentum.
Oklahoma City ripped the lead from New York again with 3:53 remaining after two fast break finishes from Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Chandler connected on a dunk to answer the run and Anthony fought for a putback layup to shift the lead to the road squad, 114-111, with three minutes remaining in the contest.
Throughout this historic streak, Smith has answered the call along with Anthony in crunch time. Today was no different. Smith sunk a crucial bucket off his patented step-back jumper at 1:28 and then buried a deep shot from downtown to all but secure the win with 56.8 seconds on the game clock. The Sixth Man of the Year candidate calmly hit the back-breaker when Raymond Felton fell to the ground and quickly tipped out to Smith for the picturesque long ball.
New York was crisp in the first half of action with high-percentage shooting and controlled play on the offensive end of the floor. Late in the second quarter, the Knicks reeled off a 7-2 run when Smith dished an alley-oop dime to Chandler for a two-handed jam. That bucket extended New York’s lead to 65-56 heading into the locker room at the break.
The Knicks own the longest active win streak in the league and now the third-longest in franchise history. The squad also earned its first win in five tries at Chesapeake Arena.
New York relied heavily on its bench, as Jason Kidd scored 14 points, Chris Copeland chipped in 13, and Steve Novak hit two treys in the win.
The Knicks shot 50 percent from the floor, 44 percent behind the arc, and hit 18-of-24 shots at the charity stripe.
Westbrook dropped 37 points and Durant scored 27 points for Oklahoma City in the defeat.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony was not as efficient as seen in past wins during the streak but he showed up at critical moments. The All-Star scored 36 points and most importantly, crashed the glass for 12 boards.
Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby did not dress for this game leaving the Knicks extremely shorthanded on the frontline. Regardless, New York outrebounded Oklahoma City 41-37.
The Knicks return to New York tonight and will have a day of rest before a Tuesday night matchup against Washington at Madison Square Garden.