Thunder 123, Knicks 94

Joe Pantorno, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Guard Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 123-94 on Christmas Day.
It was the eighth triple-double on Christmas Day in NBA history.
Westbrook achieved the feat for the first time this season with six minutes left in the third quarter, hitting a 3-pointer to put the Thunder up by 22 points.
Oklahoma City has won 10 of its last 11 games and shares the best record in the league with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Indiana Pacers.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points. He added seven rebounds and six assists while shooting 63 percent from the field.
The Thunder used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead and never looked back, preventing the Knicks from cutting their advantage to single digits during the rest of the game.
Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, who makes a living under the basket, was left open all afternoon by the New York defense. Ibaka had 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.
The Knicks played without forward Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer who sprained an ankle in a win on Monday night over the Orlando Magic. Forward J.R. Smith started in Anthony's place and scored 20 points on 8-of-22 shooting from the field.
Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire and guard Tim Hardaway Jr. provided a lift for the Knicks off the bench. Stoudemire scored a team-high 23 points and Hardaway Jr. had 21. No other Knicks scored in double figures.
With the Oklahoma City starters sitting out for the fourth quarter, Thunder reserve guard Reggie Jackson scored 18 points and Jeremy Lamb added 13.
The Knicks shot 70 percent from the field in the frst eight minutes of the game and 67 percent from three-point range, but their hot start was just enough to keep pace them with the Thunder, who shot better than 70 percent in the first quarter and hit their first four 3-point attempts.
When the Knicks cooled down, the Thunder used a lethal transition game to undo New York. Westbrook had no problem finding the open man as the Knicks struggled to keep tabs on Oklahoma City's shooters. Durant made his first six shots from the field.
NOTES: Knicks F Carmelo Anthony was a game-time decision. He sprained his left ankle in the team's win over the Orlando Magic on Monday. ... Knicks PG Raymond Felton missed Wednesday's game with a strained right groin. ... Thunder F Kevin Durant leads the NBA in scoring, averaging 28.1 points per game. Anthony is ranked second, averaging 26.3 points. ... The Thunder have the NBA's third-best defense, averaging 105.7 points per game. Their plus-7.1 differential this season is fourth best in the league. ... After losing 11 of 13, the Knicks are 3-3 in their last six games. They have four wins in December after winning only five games combined in October and November. ... The Knicks are 22-26 on Christmas Day games. ... Despite having the league's second leading scorer in Anthony, the Knicks offense is sixth worst in the league in scoring at 95 points per game.

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