Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, Paul George had a team-high 28 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 105-84 win over the Knicks in the season opener on Thursday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. >> Read more
Kristaps Porzingis scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds -- both game-highs -- but the rest of the Knicks' offense turned in much quieter performances.
Enes Kanter had 10 points, seven rebounds, and three steals, but turned the ball over four times. No other Knicks player scored in double figures.
Former Knick Carmelo Anthony had a pair of steals and blocks to go along with 22 points.
We're all tied up. KP leads with 17 points. pic.twitter.com/ddo8imaWvQ- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 20, 2017
Jake Brown | Twitter |
Carmelo Anthony opened the game with a three...and the rest was history. The Knicks were in this game and played well defensively for the first 20 minutes. That's when all the momentum shifted to the Thunder and the Knicks didn't stand a chance. OKC went on a run to end the half that included a Knicks turnover that led to a Paul George dunk at the buzzer. The Knicks couldn't score in the third quarter and entered the fourth down 20. Russell Westbrook had a very efficient triple-double with 21 points, 16 assists, 10 rebounds, and was 7 of 12 from the field.
Kristaps Porzingis was the bright spot for the Knicks tonight, finishing with 31 points and 12 rebounds. He played real well on both ends of the floor, and was really the only consistent threat on the offensive side of the ball. It's pretty clear he could lead the Knicks in field goal attempts by a mile this season. He had 25 attempts...the next closest Knicks player was Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter with 10. The Knicks could not get in a rhythm at all on offense and that hurt them more than their defense.
The Knicks looked fatigued after the first 20 minutes of the game and out of gas in the second half. They got nothing from their point guards. Frank Ntilikina only played seven minutes and airballed both his shot attempts, and it looked like his knee was bothering him still. Ron Baker turned it over four times and was sloppy out there. Ramon Sessions was an absolute non-factor after he drained a three to start the game. Hopefully Michael Beasley's ankle injury is nothing serious and he can return soon, after he made his first shot and fell on Westbrook's ankle.
The Knicks are going to have to get more production from the point guard position if they want any chance to win. They'll need to find their rhythm when they play their home opener Saturday against the Pistons next. Their defense showed encouraging flashes early on, but clearly their stamina just isn't there yet. We should also see some different lineups as Jeff Hornacek barely played Willy Hernangomez and Damyean Dotson. Both should be seeing as many or more minutes than Lance Thomas.
The Knicks will host the Pistons on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.