The New York Knicks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 100-92.
It was a horrific match from the tipoff to the last buzzer as the Durant-less Thunder could not get anything going on either side of the ball. The team shot 40% from the field, committed 13 turnovers, and only recorded 10 assists. Just three players scored in double digits, and Westbrook scored nearly half the team's points.
Westbrook was forced to carry the scoring load on his own and responded quite well, at the sake of ball distribution. He scored 40 points and made this acrobatic three over Langston Galloway. His 40 points were mostly salvaged on mismatches with Jose Calderon.
The Knicks played with a lot more flair than the Thunder. Langston Galloway, the new signee, scored 18 point and is continuing to surprise the organization. Former team member, Lance Thomas, also continued his success in New York with 17 points. And by no surprise at all, Carmelo Anthony scored 31. The Knicks simply executed better than the Thunder, but that's not saying much. Both teams played horribly throughout the game, but it was the Knicks that played a little less horribly.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
My initial reaction? Pure disappointment.
This game should be an easy win, right? Right?! Wrong!
Coming into the game, the Knicks were 8-37 with only five wins at home, so despite Durant being sidelined, I was expecting a Thunder blowout. Not only did the Thunder lose a humiliating game, they fell one more game behind the Phoenix Suns. The Thunder were incompetent without Kevin Durant. Melo's 30 point game is understandable, but there is no excuse for Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas scoring nearly 20 each.
There was no offensive spark off the bench. The tempo was at a season-low. There was no ball movement. The entire game, start to finish, was hard to watch.
Besides Westbrook's electric third quarter, there was never a sense of excitement for the Thunder.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder lost?
There are numerous reasons why the Thunder lost.
For one, the ball movement was atrocious. Russell Westbrook scored 40 points off of 30 shots. The rest of the starting lineup scored 16 cumulatively. Only two other players scored in double digits. But the most astonishing statistic is 10 assists.
There were way too many turnovers, especially in the first quarter, and the Thunder's shots were not falling. The team shot 22.7% from behind the arc.
It is understandable to lose without the best player, but not to a team like the Knicks and not in that manner.
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 40 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds
Thunder Down-Under: Reggie Jackson, 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 28 minutes
Thunder Blunder: Perry Jones, 0 points, 0-5 field goals (most of the team were Thunder Blunders)
Thunder Plunderer: Carmelo Anthony, 31 points, 10 rebounds
Next game: Saturday @ Memphis Grizzlies