THE FACTS: New York's J.R. Smith drained two shots including a 3-pointer in the closing moments and the Knicks extended their winning streak to 12 games with a thrilling 125-120 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smith finished with 22 points but it was the play of Carmelo Anthony that sealed things for New York. Anthony scored 36 points but it was the 12 rebounds he pulled down, nine of them off the offensive glass that put his team in position to win.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook led OKC with 37 points on 15-for-27 shooting he also grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists, narrowly missing a triple-double. Kevin Durant added 27 on 7-for-17 from the floor but 13-for-15 from the free throw line. He also had seven assists and four blocked shots. With their performances today Anthony (28.41) takes over the NBA scoring lead from Durant (28.35). Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin added 15 on 5-for-7 shooting and Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson each finished with 13.
The Knicks had six players in double figures. In addition to Anthony and Smith, Raymond Felton scored 16 and center Tyson Chandler added 15. Jason Kidd came off the bench to score 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting including four 3-pointers and rookie Chris Copeland dropped in 13, all in the first half.
The Knicks bench scored 55 points the Thunder bench managed just 30. Both teams shot the ball well with Oklahoma City hitting 57.7 percent while New York hit 49.5 percent.
QUOTABLE: "J.R. has been solid all year, he's capable of hitting big shots. I was more impressed with how we held our composure. We just battled them from beginning to end. It was like an old school shootout with all the offense that was displayed."
-- Knicks head coach Mike Woodson
QUOTABLE II: "This was huge for us, it's very hard to come into this building and get a win, I'm really proud of the way we kept fighting."
QUOTABLE III: "Not a lot of defense from our team today and we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. Every time we made 'em miss they got the rebound and that's not good. The basics of rebounding is blocking out and we have to go back to that."
-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks
THE STAT: New York pulled down 19 offensive rebounds and scored 23 second chance points. Eight of those offensive rebounds and eight of the second chance points came in the critical fourth quarter. OKC had just two offensive rebounds in the final 12 minutes and just two second chance points.
TURNING POINT: The Knicks went on a 10-2 run during a two minute stretch late in the third quarter that extended a one point lead out to nine but the Thunder stormed back with a 16-6 run in the fourth quarter that put them up 105-104. And they led again as late as 4:00 left when Westbrook hit a layup. But the Knicks went on a 10-3 run over the next 3:30 to ice the game.
QUOTABLE IV: "They shot the ball well, we forced them to shoot tough shots and they hit 'em. No need to panic. They just hit some tough shots."
HOT: Thunder start on a blistering pace going 7-for-8 (87.5 percent) in first eight minutes and finished the quarter 11-for-17 (64.7 percent)...Ibaka was 4-for-4 (nine points) and four blocks in the first eight minutes...Martin was 4-for-5 (12 points) in the first half...Kidd was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes...Westbrook was 5-for-7 (11 points) in the fourth quarter.
NOT: Anthony was 2-for-7 (four points)...Durant did not take a shot in the first quarter but scored three points from the free throw line...Felton was 2-for-7 (five points) in the first half...Durant was 1-for-6 (five points) in the fourth quarter.
INSIDE THE ARENA: The 105th consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
GOOD MOVE: With Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin out with injuries Woodson again gave big minutes to rookie Chris Copeland and he responded early going 5-for-7 (13 points) plus three assists in the first half.
BAD MOVE: The Thunder struggled to contain the Knicks offense in the first half, giving up 65 points (tying the OKC season-high for opponent scoring) and allowing the Knicks to shoot 51 percent overall and 52.6 percent on 3-pointers. The Thunder also couldn't keep New York off the offensive glass. The Knicks had eight offensive rebounds in the first 24 minutes.
GOOD MOVE-BAD MOVE: The Thunder held New York to just 39.1 percent shooting (9-for-23) in the fourth quarter and 28.6 percent (2-for-7) on 3-pointers in the fourth. But while the Thunder forced the Knicks to miss most of their first shots in possessions they failed to block out on rebounds and gave up eight offensive boards and allowed eight second chance points.
NOTABLE: New York now has 50 wins in a season for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Anthony now has four straight games with 35 or more points. He is the first Knick to do that since Bernard King in the 1984-85 season.
UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Tuesday vs. Washington, Thursday @ Chicago, Friday @ Cleveland. For the Thunder, Tuesday @ Utah, Thursday @ Golden State, Friday @ Portland.