OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — It didn’t take long for the Oklahoma City Thunder (9-5) to assert themselves against the New York Knicks (4-11).
Before Oklahoma City decimated the Knicks 128-103, the Thunder scored a season high-37 points in the opening 12 minutes. The initial quarter dominance another example in a growing trend. A trend which has seen Oklahoma City outscore their opponents by 52 points in the last four home games.
“You always want to get out to a good start,” Billy Donovan said after the game. “Setting the tone right from the start. I thought our guys did a great job of responding during their runs to regain control of the game.”
It was Steven Adams (19 points, seven rebounds and five assists) who got the ball rolling early. The big man had 10 points in the first quarter on 4-of-5 shooting. A good portion of them coming against former teammate and friend Enes Kanter.
“Steven kept saying to feed him in the pick-and-roll on Kanter,” Dennis Schröder said. “Steven had the ball rolling and we took advantage.”
Paul George certainly picked up where he left off Monday night against the Phoenix Suns. After an 11-of-19 performance with 32 points two nights ago, George scorched the Knicks for 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting.
George’s night came in handy in the third when the Thunder lead was cut to 12 early in the quarter. George then led Oklahoma City on a 17-2 run to widen the margin. During that time, George was shooting 13-of-22, seemingly unable to miss.
“There were times where we were under his shirt and he’d still let that thing fly,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “This guy is a big time player, and when he gets going like that it’s tough.”
George finished with 17 points in the crucial third quarter, the most for any Thunder player in a single quarter this season.
With tonight’s win, Oklahoma City has won nine of their last ten games. Five of those games have been without Russell Westbrook, who sat again tonight with a sprained ankle.
Schröder finished with a season high-12 assists. A far cry from not registering an assist in a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers a week ago. Oklahoma City as a team tonight finished with 32 assists.
The Thunder now head on the road to Phoenix to kick off a three-game road trip.