• Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks (22-24) have lost their last two games, including a 28 point blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (29-16) at home. The offense has struggled to produce, and New York has failed to shoot over 40% in either of their last two games.

Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder (33-13) came into the Garden looking to notch their 34th win on the season. The Thunder were also looking to avenge a 93-90 loss to the Knicks, suffered back on Nov. 20th in Oklahoma City. New York has not won a season series over the Thunder since the 2005-06 season. To get the season sweep, New York would need to do it without Anthony due to soreness in his left knee.

For a good majority of this game, it looked as if the Knicks would pull out a win in the Garden. The Knicks were playing together as a unit, and doing their best to contain Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. New York ran the triangle offense effectively, and it had them shooting 50% from the field at the end of the third quarter. The bench production from Derrick Williams and Langston Galloway also helped the Knicks to build a 91-88 lead at the end of three quarters. Coming into Tuesday night, the Knicks held a 19-6 record when tied or leading after the third.

Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY ... Russell Westbrook came to the Garden ready to play Tuesday night.
Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY … Russell Westbrook came to the Garden ready to play Tuesday night.

The Knicks scored eight straight points to start the fourth quarter, and had an 11 point lead over the Thunder. However when Westbrook and Durant were inserted back in the game, the dynamic changed. Both Westbrook and Durant willed their team back in the game with tough buckets down the stretch. The Thunder would go on to tie it 113-113, with 16 seconds left in the game on a Durant jumper.

New York had not had a buzzer beater shot to win a game, since JR Smith did it against the Phoenix Suns back in 2012. Aaron Afflalo came very close to doing so, as his turnaround jumper rimmed in and out as time expired.

In overtime, New York really seemed to run out of gas. The effects of playing without Anthony started to set in, and the Knicks struggled to score late in the game. When Anthony is on the floor, you have a bonafide scorer that can create for himself and others. To win games, you need a go-to scorer down the stretch. The Knicks lacked one Tuesday night, and only managed to score nine points in overtime. Galloway did his part by stepping up, and scoring some huge buckets to keep the Knicks in the game. However, it wasn’t enough as the Knicks lost 128-122 to the Thunder.

Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY .. There was no shortage of action Tuesday night.
Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY .. There was no shortage of action Tuesday night.

Durant exploded for a monster game in the Garden, tallying 44 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. The last time an opposing player scored 40+ points against New York, was Durant back in 2014 in Oklahoma City (41 points, Feb. 9). Westbrook had another spectacular game attacking the rim, and finished with 30 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. The Thunder now hold a 19-9 record when both Durant and Westbrook score 20+ points.

Galloway led the way for New York, scoring a season-high 21 points off the bench. The Knicks had six players score in double figures, but couldn’t get key baskets and stops late in the game. Williams added a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) off the bench. This is Williams’ second straight game with a double-double and 19 point performance.

The Knicks need to find an answer defensively if they are going to end this three game losing streak. New York has allowed opposing teams to shoot over 40% in 10 of their last 11 games. That won’t cut it in the NBA, especially when you are playing without Anthony. There needs to be a sense of defensive pride, and that is what cost the Knicks a win Tuesday night.

New York will look to get back on track Thursday night against the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors (30-15). The Knicks won the last contest against the Raptors 111-109, in Toronto back on Nov. 10th.

Stats Of The Game:

  • Serge Ibaka finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds for Oklahoma City. This is his fifth double-double of the season, and sixth game with 10+ rebounds.
  • The Knicks now hold a 5-22 record when they score under 100 points.
  • The Knicks are now 0-4 when starting Afflalo, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, Lance Thomas, and Kristaps Porzingis.
  • Porzingis finished the game with 15 points (5-12 FGM-FGA) and five rebounds. This is his fourth straight game with under 10 rebounds.
  • The Knicks are now 2-2 in overtime games this season

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732







By Barry Holmes

Graduate of Millersville University, with a BS in Communications focused in Broadcast. Senior Writer & Social Media Manager for PureSportsNY.

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