OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and posted his 27th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 116-105 on Wednesday night.
Westbrook moved into sole possession of third place for the most triple-doubles in a season, behind Oscar Robertson's 41 in 1961-62 and Wilt Chamberlain's 31 in 1967-68. The star guard had 14 rebounds and 12 assists in the 64th triple-double of his career.
Victor Oladipo scored 21 points and Jerami Grant added 13 for the Thunder, who snapped a two-game skid.
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points for the Knicks after being selected to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Kevin Love earlier in the night. Derrick Rose scored 25 and Courtney Lee added 16. >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
Carmelo Anthony receives his share of criticism, but there's no doubt he makes his teammates better. The forward is a rather dominant offensive force when it comes to scoring the basketball. That much is clear. What makes his respective prowess so special is the way it elevates his teammates. As evidenced in the first quarter, those around Anthony were excited. He ignited them and his fellow starters were much more active as they helped spread the floor as he went to work. It was a great display of chemistry and a special combination.
Unfortunately, New York couldn't keep up such a pace. The Thunder caught on and started closing in on Anthony, pestering him and limiting the space he needed to get high percentage looks off. On the contrary, the morale was altered as the momentum shifted. The second and third quarters resulted in rather stagnant offensive. With a certain level of excitement gone, the Knicks' energy on the defensive end subsequently wavered.
It's worth noting that Russell Westbrook is an absolute maniac. He's a one man wrecking crew that can score, facilitate, create opportunities, and limit those of his opponent. Whenever the Knicks would apply defensive pressure, Westbrook either knew just how to beat them or where to find his teammates who could. New York threw everything but the kitchen sink at him, but Westbrook utilized those around him to help recapture a lead.
Not to be lost in this one was the special offensive display by Derrick Rose. He shot the ball well and worked hard to attack the basket. Not receiving some well deserved foul calls this season has been an issue, however. Rose hardly ever gets the benefit of the doubt, no matter how much contact he seems to absorb. Rose (3 free throw attempts) was no match for Westbrook's 13. The entire Knicks squad took just 14 total shots at the charity stripe.