Hardened in the Garden

For a few moments there — say, the first 20 minutes or so — it looked like the Knicks were absolutely going to crush the Thunder. Suddenly, there was a rally, and OKC was up three (58-55) at the half. And while New York never exactly goes away, they weren’t in a position to challenge a Thunder team that had most of its parts running at high speed toward an eventual 112-103 win.

How high a speed? Two double-doubles from the big guys: Enes Kanter with 27 points (a season high) and 10 rebounds; Steven Adams with 14 points and 10 rebounds. A triple-double (ho hum) from the little guy: Russell Westbrook with 27 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists. Only Westbrook, I suspect, can wangle a triple-double while having a night as terrible as 9-23 from the floor. (He’s now averaging a triple-double for the season.) Fifty percent shooting, versus 40 for the Knicks.

Still, both Kanter and Westbrook were outscored by Derrick Rose, who shot 10-20 and 10-10 from the stripe for a solid 30 points. Kristaps Porzingis, unsurprisingly, knocked down 20. But perhaps the most important statistic is this one: Carmelo Anthony managed 18 points, but 10 of those came on free throws; with Andre Roberson glued to him, ‘Melo hit only four of 19 shots. And one could perhaps question the Knicks’ depth: six reserves put up only 19 points, versus 48 for the Thunder bench.

Oh, and score a reception for Spike Lee, who caught an out-of-bounds ball and drew a small cheer. The man is fun to watch.

Radio guy Matt Pinto seemed remarkably impressed that the last five Thunder games (in which they went 3-2) were played in four different time zones. The next two, however, will be in Central time, in the friendly confines of Chesapeake Arena. First arrival: the Washington Wizards on (of course) Wednesday. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Scott Brooks; I bet he gets some serious applause when he’s introduced.





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