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Thunder-Knicks Preview


Thunder-Knicks Preview
Mike D'Antoni's gameplan for New York is pretty simple: Try to score 100 points to give yourself a chance to win. The Knicks seem to be listening to their new coach.

One of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA and coming off a franchise-record performance, New York tries for its fifth win in six games Friday night when it hosts the offensively challenged Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Knicks (5-3) lead the Eastern Conference with 103.4 points per game in their first season running D'Antoni's up-tempo offense, jumping out to their best start since 2000-01. On Wednesday night, that offense had its best game of the season.

New York set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers, hitting 55.9 percent from beyond the arc, in a 132-103 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. It was the most points scored in regulation by the Knicks since a 139-106 win at Toronto on April 6, 1996.

"We were just hot. It just happens," D'Antoni said. "It was just one of those nights where the basket looked huge for everybody."

Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 27 points, missing only one of his 12 shots, and Nate Robinson made all eight of his, including five from beyond the arc, to help the Knicks improve to 5-0 when scoring 100 points.

Robinson had 21 points after shooting 2-for-11 from the field in Tuesday's 92-80 loss at San Antonio.

"It was just fun out there," said Robinson, averaging 14.5 points and a team-high 2.4 steals off the bench. "I was kind of down because I didn't make many shots - well, none at all - against San Antonio. I told (D'Antoni) I was going to hit shots tonight."

He wasn't the only one. New York went 19-of-34 from 3-point range and shot 59.1 percent overall, its best performance since making 61.8 percent in a 115-99 victory over Golden State on March 6, 2005.

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and is averaging 27.0 in his last four games, while Zach Randolph added 18 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double.

Facing a high-scoring club is not a good matchup for Oklahoma City (1-7), which is 28th in the NBA with 88.5 points per game and allows opponents to score 97.1 a contest. The Thunder, who have yet to score 100 points this season, fell 109-92 at home to Orlando on Wednesday for their fifth loss in a row.

Playing without reigning rookie of the year Kevin Durant (ankle), Oklahoma City trailed the Magic 71-42 at halftime before pulling within 14 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

"If we can try to transfer that to the first and second quarters, and continue to play that way beyond the third, we feel like we'd have a great chance at winning," Jeff Green, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds, told the Thunder's official Web site.

Durant, who averaged 25.5 points against New York last season to help the Thunder win both meetings, injured his left ankle during Monday's 107-99 loss at Indiana in which he scored a season-high 37 points. His status for this game is uncertain.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2008

 

 
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