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Mon, Jan 11, 2010 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Thunder 106, Knicks 88

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)

Kevin Durant says the primary reason Oklahoma City has won eight of its last 10 games isn't his scoring, it's the Thunder's defense.

The Thunder limited New York to 38.2-percent shooting - more than 7 percent below its average - and behind Durant's 30 points, they cruised to a 106-88 win over the Knicks on Monday night.

Oklahoma City entered the game ranked third in the NBA in field-goal defense at 43.9 percent, trailing only the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

``We can't get satisfied. We've got to stay humble and continue to bring that effort every day,'' Durant said. ``The guys are feeding into it. It was a good game for us on defense.

``One thing we talked about was the transitions off of made baskets. We just wanted to make them get back and see all our guys and make it tough for them. ... I think we did a good job.''

Durant, who entered the game with a 28.7-point scoring average, had 15 in the first quarter as Oklahoma City (21-16) built a double-digit lead it kept for most of the rest of the game. Durant has scored 30 or more points in nine of his last 11 games.

Nate Robinson led the Knicks with 19 points. New York (15-22) suffered its worst loss since falling by 22 points in the season opener at Miami. The Knicks gave up 100-plus points for just the fourth time since Dec. 6.

``They were impressive,'' New York coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``They were long and they got after us. I think we were a little shocked at first and we couldn't get our footing.''

Point guard Russell Westbrook added 17 points and five assists and had no turnovers for Oklahoma City. With four games remaining until the season's midpoint, the Thunder are two wins shy of matching their total from last season.

``I thought it was a very sound, solid defensive effort from the start,'' Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. ``They're not an easy team to guard. They come in with a lot of offensive firepower. Our guys did a good job of making them miss a lot of shots.

``Our effort is there and it's making our defense work and our guys deserve a lot of credit for coming in every game and continuing to play defensive Basketball.''

The Knicks only led once, at 6-4. A 10-0 run by the Thunder put them back ahead and they led 34-24 after the first quarter. Oklahoma City scored the first eight points of the second period to go up by 18 and built that lead to 21 late in the quarter before settling for a 63-47 halftime advantage.

Still up 16 early in the third quarter, Thabo Sefolosha keyed a 6-0 run by the Thunder with a fast-break dunk off a pass from Durant that made it 71-49. D'Antoni promptly called a timeout, shaking his head as he walked onto the court.

It didn't get any better for the Knicks, who scored only 15 points in the third quarter as the Thunder built their lead to 24 points. Oklahoma City led by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Knicks came no closer than 18.

``There are nights like this,'' D'Antoni said. ``We'll just throw it down the toilet and we'll be ready for Philadelphia on Wednesday.''

Durant, who played 33 minutes, went 13-of-16 from the free-throw line as the Thunder finished 20 of 24.

``He had 30 points off of 14 shots,'' New York forward Al Harrington said of Durant. ``Whenever you get to the line like that you are in a good groove and you have to attack the basket. Kevin has great balance, being able to shoot the ball and drive.''

Jonathan Bender scored 16 points for New York, while Wilson Chandler had 12 and David Lee added 11 points and 13 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season. Lee had scored at least 20 points in three straight games and six of last seven for the Knicks.

Notes: Harrington, the Knicks' second-leading scorer, returned to action after sitting out two games with a strained left calf. He scored 9 points in 17 minutes. ... Thunder reserve G Kevin Ollie, who has been out since undergoing right knee surgery on Nov. 30, was on the active roster Monday night but didn't play. ... New York F Danilo Gallinari had 11 rebounds but didn't score, missing all seven of his shots. ... U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins were among those attending on the Thunder's military appreciation night.

Tagged: Lakers, Knicks, Thunder, Kevin Durant

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