Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks (PK, 201.5 o/u)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (33-13, 12-8 Away) stumbled in their last meeting, falling 116-106 in Brooklyn to the hapless Nets. Kevin Durant and the rest of the Thunder are set to bounce back tonight against the New York Knicks (22-24, 13-9 Home) at Madison Square Garden (7:30 PM Eastern) in the third game of their four-game road trip.
The unexpected setback to the Nets on Sunday ended OKC’s seven-game win streak. Durant had 32 points on the night, but the Thunder defense couldn’t contain center Brook Lopez, who led Brooklyn with 31 points (on 11 of 19 shooting) and ten boards.
Tip-off was delayed for several hours due to the blizzard that hit the east coast on the weekend and the Thunder weren’t able to practice and had no shoot-around prior to the game. But head coach Billy Donovan wasn’t blaming his team’s performance on the weather.
“[The Nets] dealt with the same circumstances we had,” Donovan said to the Associated Press. “So both teams dealt with the weather, but to say that that impacted us would be making an excuse.”
The Knicks are currently tenth in the tightly packed Eastern Conference, just two games below .500. They’ve lost back to back games by double-digits, however, getting crushed at home by the Clippers on Friday (116-88) and then falling in Charlotte on Saturday (97-84).
Carmelo Anthony is still dealing with a sore knee that kept him out of a couple games recently, but he should be able to go for tonight. “Melo” leads the Knicks with 21.3 points and four assists per game. He’s also averaged 27.1 points per game against the Thunder during his 12-year career, his highest number against a Western Conference opponent.
Melo’s success against OKC notwithstanding, the Knicks are just 5-12 SU in their last 17 against Oklahoma City. The teams have played a bundle of high-scoring games recently, with the total hitting the over in six of the last nine between the two. A laboring Anthony and a potent Thunder offense make OKC and the over look like the better plays.
Pick: OKC (PK) and OVER (201.5).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)
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