Steven Adams corralled the defensive rebound before firing a full-court pass to Patrick Patterson in front of the Knicks bench. Patterson didn’t think twice as he heaved the ball into the air for a trailing Paul George, who then slammed it home before hanging on the rim for a few extra seconds.
For the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Thunder are having fun again.
Oklahoma City cruised past the Knicks 128-103 and they did so behind a season-high 35 points from George, who was every bit electric as he was efficient. George shot 13-of-22 from the field, 5-of-11 from deep, adding in seven rebounds and five assists. George poured in 17 points in the third quarter, which is the most of any Thunder player in a quarter this season.
It wasn’t just George getting the job done, the Thunder offense as a whole was as good as it has been all season. Oklahoma City continues to have fast starts and Wednesday night was no exception. The Thunder dropped a season-high 37 first quarter points. They have outscored its opponent by a combined 52 points in the first quarter in the last four home games.
“You always want out to a good start,” Billy Donovan said. “Setting the tone right from the start. I thought our guys did a great job of responding during their runs to regain control of the game.”
The hot start carried over into the second quarter as the Thunder stretched its lead 16 points at halftime, leading the Knicks 65-49.
The Knicks got it as close as 12 in the third quarter before the Thunder lead ballooned back up to 20 points to end the third quarter thanks to a 17-2 run by Oklahoma City. The Thunder never looked back, as the starters sat the fourth quarter. They never trailed.
The Thunder were able to put together a convincing win like this thanks to their willingness to share the basketball. They finished the night with 51 made field goals. 32 of those came off an assist. Dennis Schröder finished with a season-high 12 assists.
To get assists, you have to make shots and the Thunder did just that, making a season-high 16 threes. They shot 48.5 percent from behind the arc and 53.7 overall. The Thunder finished with five different players in double figures. (George 35 points, Steven Adams 19, Schröder 15, Jerami Grant 15, and Hamidou Diallo 11).
The Thunder now have the leagues best record over the last 10 games at 9-1. Russell Westbrook has been sidelined for half of them in that span. Oklahoma City will now travel to Phoenix for the start of its three-game road trip.
Keys to the Game
Free throws: A+
The Thunder didn’t have to stress too much at the free throw line in this one, but still, when they got to the line, they made it count. Oklahoma City finished 10-of-12 from the line, making 83 percent from the stripe.
Limit second chance points: B
The Thunder did a good job of attacking the glass, out rebounding the Knicks 47-36. They limit the Knicks to just nine offensive rebounds on 88 shots.
End quarters strong: A
Oklahoma City once again closed quarters strong. The biggest quarter that stood out was the third quarter. With the Knicks cutting the Thunder lead to 12 points, Oklahoma City responded by going on a 17-2 run, getting their lead to 20 points. Paul George did most of the heavy lifting, scoring 17 points by himself in the frame. Anytime the Knicks tried to make a push, the Thunder answered back.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!