New York Knicks best Oklahoma City Thunder in Carmelo Anthony's return

By Jon Gold, The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 16, 2017 at 11:30 PM
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NEW YORK -- Michael Beasley had 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field to lead six New York players in double figures as the Knicks spoiled Carmelo Anthony's return to Madison Square Garden with a 111-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Anthony, who was with the Knicks for nearly seven seasons and ranks as the seventh-leading scorer in franchise history, finished with 12 points -- including zero in the second half -- on 5-of-18 shooting in his first game back in New York since being traded during the offseason for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round draft pick.

Anthony received a mostly warm reception from the MSG crowd during a highlight video played during introductions. While there were loud cheers for Anthony, who averaged nearly 25 points during his nearly seven-year run but had little playoff success, there was also a smattering of boos.

Courtney Lee had 20 points and McDermott added 13 off the bench to lead the Knicks, who were without leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis, sidelined by left knee soreness.

Russell Westbrook had 25 points to lead the Thunder, who were outscored 31-23 in the fourth quarter. Paul George added 18 points -- but had a plus-minus ratio of negative-20 -- for Oklahoma City, which shot just 42 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line.

New York (16-13) took an eight-point lead early in the third quarter before Oklahoma City tied the score at 56 with just under eight minutes left in the quarter. The Knicks then seized control late in the quarter to take a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.

New York fell behind by five late in the first half before making a 17-6 run to take a 50-44 halftime lead after holding Oklahoma City to 38 percent shooting in the first half.

NOTES: The Knicks moved to a season-high three games above .500. ... New York snapped a four-game losing streak to the Thunder, though the Knicks claimed a 66-64 lead in the all-time series. Oklahoma City beat New York 105-84 on Oct. 19 in their first matchup of the season. ... Knicks SG Tim Hardaway Jr., who has been out since Nov. 29 with a lower left leg stress injury, is expected to be evaluated Tuesday. ... After finishing a three-game road trip, Oklahoma City returns home Monday to face Denver and kick off a three-game home swing. ... The Knicks head back on the road Monday for a game at Charlotte.

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