Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Thunder hammer the Knicks

The Thunder´s Kevin Durant threads his way past Knicks defenders. He had 29 points in the win. JOHN MINCHILLO / AP
The Thunder's Kevin Durant threads his way past Knicks defenders. He had 29 points in the win. JOHN MINCHILLO / AP
Not only was there no Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony showdown, there wasn't much of a game, either.

The Oklahoma City Thunder made sure of it with the most dominant performance ever by a road team on Christmas.

Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and the Thunder rolled to a 123-94 victory Wednesday over the host New York Knicks.

The 29-point victory was the largest for a road team on Christmas.

"I just know that if we play the way we play, team basketball, Thunder basketball, not too many teams that can beat us," Westbrook said.

The Knicks, without Anthony, weren't one of them.

The matchup between the NBA's top two scorers was canceled because of Anthony's sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas spotlight all to themselves while winning for the 10th time in 11 games.

Westbrook finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double of the season and seventh of his career. Serge Ibaka added 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting as the Thunder left a sellout crowd of 19,812 booing the home team, or making no noise at all.

"I said that on the bench, I was like, 'Man, it feels like nobody's in here,' " Durant said.

Amar'e Stoudemire scored a season-high 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 for the Knicks, who also were missing starting point guard Raymond Felton. J.R. Smith scored 20 points, but shot 8 for 22 and was booed when he left the court for good.

Anthony sat out for the first time this season. The Knicks were never really in it without him and may not have had a chance with him the way the Thunder played.

"Defensively, we just weren't there tonight," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.

Bulls 95, Nets 78 - Taj Gibson scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 15, and Chicago routed host Brooklyn. What once was viewed as a Christmas Day showdown between Eastern Conference contenders became a matchup of two of the NBA's biggest disappointments so far, as both teams have been plagued by injuries.

Rockets 111, Spurs 98 - James Harden scored 28 points, and Terrence Jones and Chandler Parsons added 21 apiece as visiting Houston stormed to a 40-25 first-quarter lead on the way to the win over San Antonio. Dwight Howard chipped in with 15 points and 20 rebounds.

Manu Ginobli led the Spurs with 22 points, and Tim Duncan added 11 points and 14 rebounds.

- Associated Press

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