NBA

Wed, Dec 25, 2013 - 2:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Thunder-Knicks Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been giving away Christmas Day road games since the franchise's time in Seattle.

Burdened with an unwanted tradition, the Thunder will spend this Christmas at Madison Square Garden looking to snap a 10-game skid in road games played on the holiday when they face the New York Knicks.

Oklahoma City (22-5) may find the task a bit easier if Carmelo Anthony is in street clothes after the Knicks' leading scorer left Monday's 103-98 win over Orlando with a sprained left ankle.

Anthony will be a game-time decision, and his presence has made all the difference for the teams he's played for when facing the Thunder. Dating to his time in Denver, he has won nine straight against them and averaged 30.2 points. With Anthony out of the lineup, his teams have lost four straight matchups.

"Hopefully I'll be there," Anthony said after leading the Knicks with 19 points against the Magic. "I don't want to miss that game. It's Christmas in the Garden. I don't want to miss that game."

Point guard Raymond Felton, meanwhile, has already been ruled out with a strained right groin. He was playing his first game back after a six-game absence due to a strained left hamstring when he tweaked the groin in the fourth quarter.

"I'm concerned (about Anthony), but I'm not as worried about him as I'm worried about Ray, the way he came back and then to go down again. It's tough," Knicks forward J.R. Smith said. "He's our point guard, for sure."

Smith added 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting against the Magic.

While injuries have limited the Knicks (9-18) all season, the Thunder suffered a setback in the standings Sunday when they snapped a nine-game winning streak with a 104-98 home loss to Toronto.

Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 27 points, while Kevin Durant added 24 on a season-worst 5-of-16 shooting.

Oklahoma City's 36.8 percent night was its worst regular-season mark at home since hitting 34.3 percent on Nov. 1, 2009 against Portland.

"Losses happen in this league," Durant said. "They beat us fair and square, you know? We missed some shots, too. I think our defense was good. They got some shots late in the fourth quarter that helped them a little bit but I think our defense was good. We were swarming them and they hit some tough ones, too, but we missed some good looks."

Still, the Thunder have won 17 of 19 and present a difficult task for the hobbled Knicks. The loss to the Raptors was their first in eight games this season against the Eastern Conference.

Oklahoma City has also won eight straight on the road against the East dating to last season, a streak that started with a 95-94 victory at the Garden on March 7 - a game that Anthony sat out due to a sore right knee.

The Knicks, who have won their last two at home on Christmas, are looking to win consecutive games for the second time this season. They are 0-8 against the West, however, losing those games by an average of 10.1 points. New York has scored 100 or more just twice in those games, and Oklahoma City is 15-0 when holding opponents to double digits.

The teams split two games last season with the road team winning each.

Tagged: Knicks, Thunder, Carmelo Anthony

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..