NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 9th
(All times Eastern)
New York Knicks (20-30) at Oklahoma City Thunder (40-12), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder hope to shake
off a tough loss when they return home Sunday to face the New York Knicks.
The Thunder suffered a last-second 103-102 loss at the Orlando Magic on
Friday, as Tobias Harris' dunk at the buzzer sent the visitors packing with
their second loss in four tries since winning 10 straight. Harris finished a
3-on-1 break with a jam as time expired.
"When the game is on the line, you have to do whatever it takes to get that
play stopped," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "Give them credit. They
played to the last tenth of a second. They deserved to win."
Oklahoma City led 65-51 at halftime and appeared headed to victory until a
sloppy second half spoiled the show. Durant, the NBA's leading scorer with
31.0 points per game, posted 29 on 10-of-22 shooting and handed out 12
assists. Serge Ibaka added 26 points and Reggie Jackson was the last Thunder
player in double figures with 12.
The loss ended a two-game winning streak for OKC, which still shot a decent
50.7 percent for the game, but committed 16 turnovers for 26 Orlando points
and blew a 17-point lead in the third quarter.
Durant, though, is still burning the net and has scored 20 or more points in
25 consecutive games, posting an average of 33.8 ppg in that span.
The Thunder are back at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they have won eight in
a row and own a 22-3 mark, and will visit Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers
in a few days.
OKC has an 8-3 mark this season in games played following a loss.
New York was back to its Jekyll and Hyde ways with Friday's 117-90 drubbing of
the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony burned his former
team for 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting and made 4-of-9 3-pointers, as the
Knicks halted a three-game slide.
"It was a total team effort today," Anthony said. "Everybody played their
part, offensively and defensively."
Anthony is averaging 30.4 ppg in his last 14 for the Knicks, who received 17
points from Amare Stoudemire, 13 by J.R. Smith and 12 points out of both Tyson
Chandler and Jeremy Tyler. Tyler also pulled down 11 rebounds and Tim
Hardaway, Jr. netted 10 points.
The Knicks sizzled from the field by making 56.5 percent of their shots,
which made up for an 11-of-28 clip from 3-point range. The Knicks, though,
committed 24 turnovers for 25 Denver points, but the Nuggets also turned the
ball over 24 times for 27 New York points.
New York, which has lost its last three on the road and is 8-13 away from MSG,
will return home to host Sacramento on Wednesday before opening a four-game
journey through Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando and Atlanta.
The Knicks will seek revenge against an Oklahoma City team that embarrassed
them 123-94 on Christmas Day at the Garden. Durant scored 20 of his 29 points
in the first half in that one and Anthony was ruled out prior to the tilt with
a left ankle sprain. Stoudemire picked up the slack with 22 points.
OKC has won 10 of the past 13 matchups with New York and is 8-3 in the
previous 11 meetings between the teams at home.
02/09 10:20:50 ET