George, Westbrook Lead Thunder Over Knicks 127-109
NEW YORK CITY, New York -
By JEFFREY BERNSTEIN
NEW YORK (AP) - Paul George scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook just missed a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New York Knicks 127-109 on Monday.
The Knicks have lost six in a row and 14 of 15. They have dropped nine straight at Madison Square Garden.
George and Westbrook both sat out the fourth quarter. Dennis Schroder added 17 points for the Thunder while both Jerami Grant and Abdel Nader each had 16.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 23 points. Allonzo Trier had 16 and Emmanuel Mudiay scored 14.
George opened the scoring with a three-point play and the Thunder never trailed in the game. They led 34-12 late in the first quarter.
New York got within 15 before Westbrook's three-point play gave Oklahoma City a 61-37 lead with 2:21 left in the second quarter.
The Knicks got within 14 on several occasions the rest of the way.
Steve Adams added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder, who have won two straight after losing five of their previous six games.
Enes Kanter had 11 points and Noah Vonleh 10 for the Knicks.
Thunder: Since moving from Seattle to Oklahoma City prior to the 2008-09 season, the Thunder have posted a 15-6 record against the Knicks, including wins in six of the last seven meetings.
Knicks: Vonleh is the only Knick to play in all 45 games this season. He has started 38 times, second most on the team behind Hardaway (41) . Kanter returned to action after missing three games.
KING FOR A DAY
The Knicks have usually excelled on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. New York has gone 21-12 overall since the national holiday was first observed in 1986. The Knicks lost to the 76ers on January 20, 1986, but won their next their next nine games on the holiday.
Oklahoma City has four players averaging at least 15 points per game (George, Westbrook, Adams, Schroder). Only five other NBA teams (Bucks, Clippers, Pelicans, Rockets, 76ers) have as many. In contrast, the Knicks only have one (Hardaway).
OUT AT HOME
The Knicks haven't won at home since a 136-134 overtime victory against the Bucks on Dec. 1. New York is now 4-14 at MSG.
Thunder: Oklahoma City hosts Portland on Tuesday.
Knicks: New York hosts Houston on Wednesday.
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