OKLAHOMA CITY —
“Just to get a win like this, it’s good for our confidence,” Felton said. “A lot of people were counting us out. A lot said we were going to lose this game. It’s a good win. It will shut a lot of mouths up in that perspective. It was a great win for us against a great team.”
Smith scored 22 points for New York off the bench. Tyson Chandler and Felton combined for 31.
Durant paced Oklahoma City with 27 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field to go along with seven assists and four blocks. But he failed to score a point in final five minutes of the game.
Westbrook finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Martin added 15 points and Reggie Jackson chipped in with 13.
“I was just trying to stay in attack mode,” Westbrook said. “Keep them on their heels and make them guard us.”
New York has now hit the 50-win mark for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
The Knicks’ game plan early was simple. They were going to take the ball out of Durant’s hands at every opportunity with am automatic double team. Durant didn’t attempt a shot in the first quarter.
The tactic allowed other Oklahoma City players, such as Serge Ibaka, to find shots. He started the game 4 of 4 from the field and had four blocks as the Thunder led 31-30 after one quarter.
“Every time I caught the ball, it was a double team,” Durant said. “I know you guys like me to shoot a lot. But I can’t shoot over three people or two people sometimes. All night they were double in the post so I just tried to trust the pass to my teammates. I believe in them 100 percent.”
The combination of Chris Copeland and Anthony allowed New York to take a 65-56 advantage into halftime.