Knicks blow a 17 point lead as Westbrook’s triple double brings Thunder the win
- Updated: February 16, 2017
By: NBA Recap
After an impressive win over the Spurs, at home on Sunday night, the Knicks tried to repeat it in Oklahoma City against the Thunder.
The defense worked out nicely in the first part of the game, New York outscoring their opponents 39-27 at the end of the first quarter.
Carmelo Anthony, who learned an hour prior to the game that he will replace Kevin Love in the All Star Game, after initially not being selected, dropped 19 of his total 30 points in the first act, including four of his six three pointers.
Moreover, early in the second quarter, the Knicks built a consistent 17 point lead, posing as legit playoff contenders.
But the lead was blown by halftime as Russel Westbrook exploded with a stunning triple double of 38 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists that helped the Thunder crush the Knicks 105-106.
“They put more pressure on us, they got after us and we didn’t get any easier after that. When you’re not scoring all of a sudden your defense slacks off, that happened to them in the first quarter, that happened to us almost in the rest of the game. When you’re getting stops and easy buckets and you’re moving around and you’re after it, the offense becomes a little bit easier.”
– Jeff Hornacek
New York tried to stay in the game in the fourth quarter as they trailed by seven with 5:31 on the clock but Westbrook connected tho three pointers followed by another one from Jerami Grant that put Thunder up by 15 in just 90 seconds.
The Knicks never threatened again as time expired.
Derrick Rose had 25 points and 7 assists, Courtney Lee finished with 16 buckets while Kristaps Porzingis connected 11 points and 7 boards.
Willy Hernangomez got another start and logged 8 points and 10 rebounds. The Spanish rookie will take part in the All Star weekend, competing for the World Team led by Porzingis in the Rising Star challenge where they will face US Team led by Karl-Anthony Towns.