The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 8, 2013

Thunder hold off ’Melo-less Knicks

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

In the meantime, the Knicks showed again they’ve got enough guys to compete without him — but not enough to beat a top team like the Thunder.

Raymond Felton and Amare Stoudemire each had 16 points for the Knicks, who were playing their fourth game in five nights against the rested and much more athletic Thunder.

Anthony’s injury prevented a matchup between the NBA’s top two scorers, his 28.2 points per game slightly behind the 28.6 Durant came in averaging as he tries to lead the league for the fourth straight season.

But it was still a loud crowd for the Thunder’s first game here in more than two years, since they weren’t scheduled for a game at Madison Square Garden in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.

“You missed it last year with the shortened season,” said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, who played for the Knicks in the 1996-97 season. “It’s one of those things, especially for myself because I like coming here and seeing all the excitement, and that was one of the disappointing things of looking at least season’s schedule. We didn’t have a stop here in New York City.”

He said it would be exciting and he was right, mostly because of Smith’s big night.

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