It’s not often that the Knicks beat the Thunder. In December of last year, OKC was welcomed to New York with a 111-96 thrashing, giving the Knicks a season split. Tonight’s 128-103 spectacle really shouldn’t be considered payback, since both sides were missing regular starters, and I don’t want to be the guy who thumbs the scale in an effort to determine whether Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson equal Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas and Kristaps Porzingis. And the Knicks do have some firepower even in their absence: Tim Hardaway Jr. knocked down 20 points, and Enes Kanter (remember him?) came up with 19 from the bench. The Knicks bench, in fact, outscored OKC’s, 44-37. But perhaps this was the wrong night for it, what with OKC shooting 53 percent from the floor and splashing 16 of 33 treys. What’s more, Paul George hit a season-high 35 points, Steven Adams yet another 19 — seems like he always gets 18 or 19 — and the first Dennis Schröder double-double of the year (15 points, 12 assists).
Knicks to Knote: Rookie Kevin Knox — he was drafted #9 by New York this past summer — got the start at small forward, and he was mostly up to the challenge; he shot only 5-16, but came up with 15 points in his 29 minutes. And Emmanuel Mudiay started at the point, scoring seven and delivering five dimes.
The second NY/OKC game will be at Madison Square Garden on the 21st of January. At 11:30 am. In the absence of any rational explanation — at least, any that I’ve heard — I’m going to chalk this one down as a Stupid Scheduler Trick. And I kind of hope Porzingis is back; he’s always fun to watch. For now, though, the West is calling, and for all I know, they may be calling collect.