National Basketball Association
Thunder-Knicks Preview
National Basketball Association

Thunder-Knicks Preview

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 2:07 a.m. ET

Now that they've settled into a regular routine on their trip to New York, the Oklahoma City Thunder can focus on the business of winning.

After they couldn't help but feel the effects of a massive snowstorm, the Thunder may not get to avoid facing nemesis Carmelo Anthony, either.

Anthony says he plans to play through knee soreness as the Knicks try to avoid their first back-to-back home losses since November on Tuesday night against an Oklahoma City team that hasn't lost two in a row in two months.

The Thunder (33-13) weren't able to practice or hold a shootaround and walkthrough after arriving in the New York metro area around 4 a.m. Saturday - not long after a blizzard began that would dump almost 30 inches on the area.


Kevin Durant was stuck in his hotel for 36 hours before Oklahoma City's season-best win streak ended at seven with Sunday's 116-106 loss in the second of the club's season high-tying four-game road swing.

"They dealt with the same circumstances we had," coach Billy Donovan said after the game, which was pushed back four hours from its original start time. "So both teams dealt with the weather, but to say that that impacted us would be making an excuse."

Durant finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and fellow All-Star starter Russell Westbrook added 27, 11 and seven, but the Thunder never led in just their fifth loss over the last 27 games. The Northwest Division leaders haven't dropped two in a row since Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.

They struggled without center Steven Adams, who is expected to sit out the rest of this trip after an MRI revealed a sprained right elbow. Brook Lopez took advantage by scoring a season-high 31 points for the Nets.

New York's Robin Lopez, Brook's twin brother, certainly doesn't pose as much of a threat, but Anthony has given the Thunder a lot of trouble. He's totaled 56 points to help the Knicks win the last two meetings, and his 27.1 career average is his highest versus any Western Conference opponent.

The All-Star forward, however, has shot 39.4 percent in his last four games after missing two with an ankle injury. He's questionable for this contest after feeling soreness in his knee Saturday when he had a season-low nine points in 29 minutes - none in the fourth quarter - of a 97-84 loss at Charlotte.

The Knicks (22-24), who averaged 112.7 points during a six-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden, have scored 86.0 per game in their last two overall.

New York hasn't lost two in a row at home since Nov. 27-29 and hasn't swept this season series since 2005-06 against the then-Seattle SuperSonics.

"How do you get to a point where you can break (past .500)?" coach Derek Fisher said. "It requires more sacrifice, more discipline, more commitment and more energy. We have to keep plugging until we find a way."

The Knicks held Oklahoma City to 38.0 percent shooting - including 3 for 29 from 3-point range - in a 93-90 road win Nov. 20. Westbrook led the Thunder with 34 points and he's averaged 35.3 over the last three meetings.

Durant's 29.4 career scoring average against New York is his second-highest of any East opponent, though he's missed the past three matchups.

Thunder guard Andre Roberson is expected to miss three weeks with a sprained right knee.


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