Durant’s Thunder edge Knicks
NEW YORK- Agence France-Presse
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant is fouled by New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire during the second half of an NBA basketball game. AP photoKevin Durant hit the go-ahead free throws with 1:38 remaining to lift Oklahoma City to a 95-94 win over the New York Knicks, giving the Thunder their sixth win in their last seven games.
Durant finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and a half dozen assists for the Thunder in front of a crowd of 19,033 at Madison Square Garden.
After the free throws, Raymond Felton turned the ball over on the Knicks’ ensuing possession. JR Smith then followed by missing a three-pointer.
With the Thunder still ahead by one, Durant missed a shot with eight seconds left in the fourth and the Knicks called a timeout.
After the short break, New York worked the ball to Smith who ran down the clock then put up a 20-foot jump shot from the left side that bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Guard Smith finished with a game-high 36 points, while Felton and Amare Stoudemire had 16 points each for the Knicks, who had just 13 points in the fourth.
The Thunder have won three in a row, but the Knicks made them work for the victory Thursday unlike their previous four wins where they dominated with an average margin of victory of 27.0 points.
The Knicks were missing star forward Carmelo Anthony for the second-straight game on March 7.
Anthony hurt his knee Monday in a win at Cleveland against the Cavaliers. He left in the second quarter of that contest after he tripped over his own feet, wrenching his knee.
If Anthony had played, the game would have featured the NBA’s two top scorers, Durant and Anthony. The two are separated by less than a point per game average.
New York recently finished off an undefeated road trip with wins over Cleveland and Detroit.
The Thunder have now won three straight over New York and five of their last six.
The Knicks are among the National Basketball Association’s best at committing the fewest turnovers. They had 13 turnovers compared to 16 for the Thunder on March 7.