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Knicks end skid vs. Thunder

The Knicks used the past four days to rejuvenate their batteries and came out charged up, as they knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-98.<br />

The Knicks used the past four days to rejuvenate their batteries and came out charged up, as they knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-98.

Led by Wilson Chandler and his 21 points, the Knicks ended their three-game slide and looked fresher than any time since their nine-game winning streak ended last week. The Knicks [17-12] indeed looked spryer, as they came out inspired and finished stronger than a Thunder [20-10] squad that was coming off the backend of a back-to-back road trip.

New York had a balanced attack, as besides Chandler’s all-around excellence, Amar’e Stoudemire notched 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three blocks, including one fourth-quarter sequence when Stoudemire denied two Thunder shots in succession. Raymond Felton continued his stellar floor leadership as he posted 12 points and 10 assists, while only committing one turnover. The rest of the starters, Landry Fields [14 points and 10 rebounds] and Danilo Gallinari [13 points, five rebounds, and two steals] were solid in the win.

Offense wasn’t the Knicks’ only calling card as they managed to shut down everyone not named Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The duo, who leads the league in combined points per game with 50.4, had their moments but it was what the Knicks did to the supporting cast that was impressive. The next highest scorer for Oklahoma City was Jeff Green, who tallied 14 points. The Thunder could only muster 43 second-half points and shot 39 percent from the field.

Offensively, the Knicks had 30 assists on 42 made field goals and committed on 11 team turnovers.

The game was so out of hand that Stoudemire was able to get an early rest, as he sat for good at the 4:21 mark and New York up 20. The rare rest was a nice bonus for a Knicks team that has grinded its customary eight-man rotation into the ground at times.

Next up for the Knicks is a Christmas Day matinee against the Chicago Bulls.


3 THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT:

1. The Knicks played about as complete a game as they had all season, as six players finished in double-figure scoring, they only committed 11 turnovers, and assisted on 30 of its 42 made field goals. The Knicks also played stellar defense on everyone not named Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The duo, who lead the league in combined points with 50.4 points per game, certainly got there’s but the supporting cast did virtually nothing. The next highest scorer was Jeff Green, who had 14 points.

2. Wilson Chandler is on such an upward trend that he’s definitely in the running for some accolades. Although he’s a sleeper all-star pick, Chandler may be more realistically suitable to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Chandler, who notched 21 points, had a great all around game as he added five rebounds and four assists. A dogged defender, rebounder, and silky scorer, Chandler was the catalyst during two crucial Knick sequences that featured separate runs of 11-0 and 10-0, respectively, turning a five-point deficit into a 12-point lead. The 17-point swing was the largest of the game by either team.

3. The Knicks’ bench, much maligned during the early part of the season, finally contributed in numerous ways, as they notched 29 points. Toney Douglas had nine points and three assists in 11 minutes, Shawne Williams added seven points and three blocks in only nine minutes, and Ronny Turiaf chipped in with 11 points and a block in 19 minutes. Williams got off to a great start in the first quarter, as he contributed three points and a huge block of Westbrook in only five minutes of action. Turiaf’s energy seemed to light a fire under Stoudemire as the game wore on, whenever the two played simultaneously, as Stoudemire blocked three shots, including two consecutive shots in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks imposed their will on the Thunder.

BY THE NUMBERS:
The Knicks shared the wealth last night, as they assisted on 30 of their 42 made field goals.

GOOD DAY:
Raymond Felton notched 10 assists, making it his fifth-straight 10 assist game. The last time that was done by a Knick was in January 2004 [Stephon Marbury].

 
 
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