by Jonah Ballow

How It Happened:
The Knicks entered hostile territory on Thursday night and showed poise early in the contest.  Facing a newly formed Thunder team featuring former Knick Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, New York battled in the first quarter.  After only trailing by three heading to the second quarter and tied at 42-42 with 2:43 to go in the half, Oklahoma City ramped up its intensity on both sides of the floor.  The Thunder closed the half on an 11-0 run to take a 53-42 lead at the break.  Oklahoma City widened the gap by outscoring the road squad 26-17 in the third frame.  Anthony, George, and Westbrook combined for 71 points in the Thunder’s home victory.

Knick of the Night:
Kristaps Porzingis was spectacular early and often in his 2017-18 debut.  The 7-3 power forward dropped a team-high 31 points to go along with 12 rebounds and a blocked shot in 38 minutes of court time.

Enes Kanter finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds in his first game back in OKC, Courtney Lee registered nine points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored eight.

News and Notes:
Michael Beasley suffered a sprained ankle in the first half.  X-Rays were negative but the newly acquired forward was not available for the remainder of the game.

Statistically Speaking:
New York tallied 14 second chance points as opposed to Oklahoma City’s nine points in the Thursday night tilt.

Next Up:
The Knicks will return to New York City following the contest and will have a day to prepare for the visiting Detroit Pistons.  New York’s home opener is set for Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden with tipoff scheduled for 8 pm.