NBA: Carmelo nets 36 as Knicks beat Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead New York over Oklahoma City 125-120 on Sunday, stretching the Knicks’ NBA winning streak to 12 games.
Anthony, who had scored at least 40 points in each of the Knicks’ past three triumphs, hit 15-of-29 from the field as New York snapped a five-game losing streak at Oklahoma City.
The Knicks, who have not lost since March 17 at the Los Angeles Clippers, improved to 50-26 – their winningest season since 1999-2000 – and moved within one victory or Brooklyn loss of clinching the Atlantic division title.
New York’s current win streak, the third-longest in club history, is the best since a 15-game run during the 1993-94 campaign.
J.R. Smith added 22 points for New York, including two key baskets in a late 11-2 run in the fourth quarter. Raymond Felton scored 16 points and eight assists, Tyson Chandler had 15 points and Jason Kidd added 14.
With the loss, the Thunder fell to 56-21 and dropped one game behind San Antonio in the race for the best record in the Western Conference and a home-court edge in the playoffs that begin later this month.
Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and passed off eight assists for the Thunder.
Kevin Durant, battling Anthony for the NBA scoring title, netted 27 points and contributed seven assists.
A Westbrook layup put the Thunder ahead 111-110 with four minutes remaining, but Smith hit a jumper and a 3-pointer and Anthony tipped in another basket to seal the victory.