Game Recaps

Thunder Survive the Pipe, Win at MSG 95-94

Thunder Survive the Pipe, Win at MSG 95-94

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The New York Knicks had their chance, but the Oklahoma City Thunder forced J.R. Smith into a long shot with less than a second left in the game, as the Thunder held on for the 95-94 win. Kevin Durant was huge in this game for the Thunder, dropping 34 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists. The win was the sixth in seven games for the Thunder.

The Knicks started out the game better than your Oklahoma City Thunder. Knicks started the game on a 13-7 lead on back-to-back threes. Then Oklahoma City took the 23-13 lead off a 16-0 run over 3 minutes 24 seconds in the quarter. The Thunder kept the Knicks at arms length the rest of the quarter because of Russell Westbrook. He dropped 15 points in the quarter. That helped OKC lead 35-26 after the first frame.

Westbrook is averaging 15.0 ppg in the first quarter over the last four games.

In the second quarter, the Thunder only took 13 shots. They hit eight of them. However, the Knicks made 13 shots, four of them were from three-point range. Oklahoma City led by as much 11 points in the quarter, but the Knicks used a 11-2 run to tie the game at 48-48. Oklahoma City grabbed the lead quickly off a Westbrook reverse lay up, and Oklahoma City led the way, taking a three point lead into the break.

Smith really just lit Oklahoma City up in the quarter. Despite the Knicks starting the quarter 0-of-9, the Thunder struggled to find the basket, and Smith found the basket. Smith dropped 13 points in the quarter as the Knicks climbed all the way to a six point lead at the end of the quarter. Oklahoma City struggled to find an answer for him in the quarter. The Knicks led 81-75 after three quarters.

Oklahoma City came out and scored a quick five points in the fourth quarter. Next thing you knew, Oklahoma City had grabbed the 87-85 lead with just about eight minutes left in the game. The Knicks and Oklahoma City from that point would trade the leads six times, including four ties.

Oklahoma City had two chances to extend their lead in the final two minutes of the game, but shots came up a little short by Westbrook.

The Thunder grabbed their final lead of the game with 1:38 left in the game off two Durant free throws. Oklahoma City missed their final three shots of the game, to give the Knicks their opportunity. However, the Knicks missed their final three shots.

Despite all the misses, the Knicks had the ball with 7.9 seconds left, and Smith and all his 36 points had a chance to win it for the Knicks. However, the tough defense by Westbrook forced Smith into a tough shot, and it missed short, the Thunder held on for the win.

Keys to the Game

Turnovers
This was not the game from last night. The Thunder turned the ball over 16 times. Those turnovers turned into 17 points for the Knicks. That’s something Oklahoma city didn’t have to worry about last night.  The Thunder really struggled to take care of the ball, and it really kept the knicks into it.

Perimeter Defense
Oklahoma City held the Knicks to 10-of-31 shooting from three-point range. The Knicks were hot in the third quarter though, they hit 4-of-5 three-point shooting. For the mostm part, they did a great job.

Closing out
Oklahoma City didn’t close the quarters well at all. They struggled, and the Knicks took advantage. The Thunder stopped the Knicks on their final possession, but they failed on their end multiple times. How they survived this game, I am not sure.

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