No MSG

In New York, one always takes care of business first. In accordance with this decree from on high, the Thunder opened up a 34-16 lead after the first quarter, and kept the Knicks at bay, which is to say “around 20 points behind,” the rest of the way. Having met the prerequisite, Oklahoma City proceeded to foul like the very dickens, giving New York an opportunity to shave the lead to 14. It didn’t last long, though, and the Knicks were finally knuked, 127-109.

New York did have a decent amount of offense, with the wing guys — Emmanuel Mudiay and Tim Hardaway, Jr. were responsible for about a third of it, with Hardaway knocking down 23 and Mudiay coming up with 14. Alonzo Trier (15) and our old friend Enes Kanter (11) were the stalwarts of the Knicks bench, though Trier earned a tech for bopping Patrick Patterson in the general vicinity of the nose. Meanwhile, Paul George tossed in 31 and Russell Westbrook stopped just short of a triple-double with a 17-9-10 line. Neither of them had to play the fourth quarter, which might be useful, inasmuch as the trip home will be followed almost immediately by a visit from the Portland Trail Blazers. (On the other hand, the Blazers are playing tonight at Utah, so they’re getting even less rest.)

The one fun thing here, I think, was listening to radio guy Matt Pinto invoking all the clichés about “tonight” and variations thereupon, even though the game was over by 2 pm. Then again, if you don’t have phrases to fall back on, you leave a whole lot of dead air.

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