Carmelo Anthony had 36 points, taking over the lead for the scoring title and leading the New York Knicks over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 125-120.
Durant came into today with a 0.05 ppg lead over Carmelo for the scoring title. Both Durant and Anthony shot poorly in first half, but Melo was able to take the lead off of 21 points in the second half.
The Thunder allowed a season high in points in the first half, and trailed 65-56 at the break. The Knicks were able to keep the lead for much of the second half. Russell Westbrook took over in the third, scoring 14 points on 5-8 shooting in the quarter.
Oklahoma City finally took the lead at 105-104 with about 7:00 remaining. From there it was pretty much back and forth before a late run by the Knicks capped by a J.R. Smith 3 with a minute left to put the Knicks up 7 and seal the game.
The Thunder were led by Russell Westbrook, who had 37, Kevin Durant with 27, and Kevin Martin added 15. In addition to Melo, the Knicks were led by J.R. Smith with 22, and Raymond Felton with 16.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Thunder's defense was disappointing throughout the entire night. The Thunder were unable to stop the Knicks tonight. OKC lost despite shooting 8.2% better from the field due to The Knicks attempted 15 more FGs and 17 more 3-pointers.
Early on it appeared OKC was utilizing a stragety of stopping Carmelo, and letting the other players get their points, with the Knicks using the same stragety for Durant. The difference was the Knicks were able to get multiple people involved for the entire game, while for whatever reason, the Thunder abandoned their role players late parts of the game. For example, Serge Ibaka, who went 6-6 on the night. Only attempted one shot in the second half, and only played 3:26 in the final quarter.
What do we take away from this game in light of the playoffs?
Today's game exposed some problems in the Thunder's defense. While they were able to keep Carmelo contained for part of the game, OKC allowed the rest of the Knicks to score at will. Six players on the Knicks roster scored 13 or more points, while five players for the Thunder 13+.
Seeing the growth of Reggie Jackson this season has been exciting. The backup point guard seems to be playing with a new sense of confidence lately and has become a scoring threat for the second team. He could have a key role in the playoffs.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder are now a game behind the Spurs for the top spot in the West with 5 games remaining. The Thunder will now travel to Utah to face their potential first round opponent. The Jazz are currently battling of the final playoff spot in the West.
|Final - 4.7.2013||1||2||3||4||Total|
|New York Knicks||30||35||31||29||125|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||31||25||33||31||120|
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 37 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists.
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks.
Thunder Blunder: Derek Fisher, 0-3.
Thunder Plunderer: Carmelo Anthony, 36 points, 12 rebounds.
Next game: @ Utah Jazz, on Tuesday, April 9th @ 8:00 pm CT
If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.