Kevin Durant scores 29 points as OKC Thunder routs Knicks

by Anthony Slater Published: December 25, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) reacts after drawing a foul on New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) during the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) reacts after drawing a foul on New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) during the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

— Soon after tip, a sense of inevitability swept over the Madison Square Garden crowd.

BOX SCORE: THUNDER 123, KNICKS 94

The arena was sold out, as it had been for the past 120 Knicks home games. And it was buzzing in pregame, with a cheery Christmas vibe sweeping the stands.

But once play began, the knowledgeable New York fans had a clear sense of what was coming.

Carmelo Anthony was out. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were in. And the revved up Thunder would roll right past the depleted Knicks, leading to a 123-94 Christmas Day laugher in the Big Apple, representing the largest road win in the NBA's history on this historic holiday.

“I said that to somebody on the bench,” Durant explained when asked if this was the quietest he'd ever heard MSG. “Felt like nobody was in here.”

For a brief portion of the first quarter, the Knicks stuck with the Thunder. But OKC's star play, supreme ball movement and loaded rotation became far too much, far too quickly.

Three minutes in, it was 8-6 Knicks. Seven minutes in, it was 18-18. At the end of the first quarter, it was 35-29 Thunder. By halftime, it had stretched to 60-46.

And by the end of the third, it was 87-67, with it only to get worse as Durant and Westbrook watched the final 12 minutes from the bench.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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