Knicks spoil Anthony's Garden party
Michael Beasley had the hot hand as the New York Knicks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-96 yesterday morning (Singapore time), spoiling the return of Carmelo Anthony to Madison Square Garden.
Beasley shot 11-of-18 from the field to tally 30 points as six players scored in double figures for the Knicks, who improved to 16-13 on the season.
"Mike has been fantastic," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "He is engaged in practice, he talks with the guys, he is a smart basketball player... Some of that stuff he does is effortless. He had a fantastic game."
Anthony struggled in his return, making just five field goals and finishing with 12 points, including none in the second half.
Anthony, who was featured in a highlight video during the introductions, heard cheers from the crowd of 19,800 but also a smattering of boos.
This was his first trip back to the Garden as a member of the Thunder since being traded in September for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick.
Anthony helped lead New York to their first division title in 19 years in the 2012-2013 season and averaged nearly 25 points per game with the Knicks.
But he has scored more than 25 points just once in his last 26 games with the Thunder.
"The video montage caught me by surprise," Anthony said. "I wasn't expecting it. I was waiting for my name to be called."
He thanked Knicks' executives Scott Perry and Steve Mills "for making the gesture".
There was plenty of interest in this match-up and not just because of Anthony's involvement. This was a battle between two hot NBA teams as the Knicks had won four of their last five and the Thunder had won six of their last eight.
Russell Westbrook had 25 points to lead the Thunder, who were outscored 31-23 in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, LeBron James posted his 60th NBA triple-double, passing Larry Bird for sixth on the all-time list and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 109-100 victory over the Utah Jazz.
James scored 29 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and handed out 10 assists.
It was his third triple-double - putting up double digits in three statistical categories - in the four-game homestand that concluded yesterday morning (Singapore time).
- CHARLOTTE 91 PORTLAND 93
- CLEVELAND 109 UTAH 100
- HOUSTON 115 MILWAUKEE 111
- MIAMI 90 LA CLIPPERS 85
- MINNESOTA 106 PHOENIX 108
- SAN ANTONIO 98 DALLAS 96
- MEMPHIS 93 BOSTON 102