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SPORTS: Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant Propels Thunder Past Knicks

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Kevin Durant never ceases to amaze.

This prime-time tilt between the Thunder and the Knicks was billed as Durant vs. Carmelo Anthony – the No. 1 scorer in the league (31 ppg) vs. No. 2 (27.4), respectively. A showdown of elites and arguably the two best scorers in the world.

KD was having none of that.

Durant torched Anthony and the Knicks with a dominating performance from start to finish with 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a 112-100 Thunder victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant did what he wanted when he wanted, carving his way through the Knicks en route to a 12-of-22 shooting performance, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and a slightly sub par 13-of-18 from the foul line.

But for as good as the Slim Reaper was on offense, his defense was equally impressive. Durant continued to demonstrate his ever-improving defensive presence, essentially shutting down Melo when the two were matched up.

Carmelo finished with 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting – he was 3-of-11 against Durant. He struggled to counter Durant's length and was visibly frustrated, throwing up several ill-advised shots in the seconds half.

It was a tour de force for No. 35 as the Western Conference-leading Thunder improved to an NBA-best 41-12 on the season and 23-3 at home.

Reggie Jackson had 19 points and six assists for OKC and Serge Ibaka had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Thabo Sefolosha chipped in 12 points, while Derek Fisher gave the Thunder 10 off the bench.

Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudamire led the way with 16 points each for New York, which has lost four of its past five game to drop to 20-31 on the season.

Durant wasn't the only hot hand for OKC, as the Thunder shot 54.8 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range. New York shot 44.2 percent and 37.5 percent from 3.

Both teams finished with 44 points in the paint, but Oklahoma City held a significant edge in the transition game, outscoring the Knicks 15-4 in fastbreak points.

With Sunday's win, Oklahoma City sweeps the season series after having already beaten the Knicks in NYC 123-94 on Christmas Day.

Oklahoma City heads to Portland on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. matchup against the Trailblazers. The Blazers are in third place in the West, four games back of the Thunder.

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