Prior to the Oklahoma City Thunder's game against the New York Knicks on Sunday, Kevin Durant had defeated Carmelo Anthony just once in his career, with that lone win coming in 2008. Durant finally got win No. 2 over Anthony, coming just one assist shy of a triple-double in a 112-100 Thunder victory.
Durant finished with a line of 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists:
Durant should have gotten that triple-double, but Serge Ibaka missed a dunk that would have given him that 10th assist.
Durant also got it done defensively, harassing Anthony into a 5-of-19 shooting performance. Durant certainly got help shutting down the second-leading scorer in the league, but he was the primary man slowing Anthony.
Although Ibaka missed that late dunk, he played well overall. The big man scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while going 8-of-11 from the field. Reggie Jackson added 19 points and six assists. The Thunder shot 54.8 percent overall and 12-of-27 from three.
The Knicks did keep it close for most of the game, with six players scoring in double figures. But New York couldn't string many stops together, consistently giving up wide open looks from three and doing an exceptionally bad job of protecting the rim. The poor defense has been a theme all season, and the Knicks won't make the playoffs if things don't significantly improve on that end of the floor.
Orlando Magic 93, Indiana Pacers 92
Just days after the Magic stunned the Thunder at the buzzer, they came up with another victory over a top team despite trailing the Pacers by 17 points late in the third quarter. Victor Oladipo had 23 points off the bench, with 13 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.
Orlando trailed by 10 heading into the fourth quarter, but a 22-5 run to start the quarter put them up seven. Indiana got back in it thanks to two Paul George threes, and George had a chance to win it at the buzzer after Lance Stephenson forced a late turnover. However, George's attempt fell way short, although there may have been some contact on the play. You be the judge:
George broke out of his slump with a strong overall game, scoring 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting and 5-of-8 from deep. But he couldn't finish the job, and a poor 11-of-19 showing at the charity stripe also came back to haunt Indiana.
In addition to Oladipo's big game, the Magic also got a solid performance from Nikola Vucevic. The big man had 19 points and 13 rebounds, severely outplaying All-Star Roy Hibbert.
The Clippers absolutely annihilated the Sixers from the get-go, scoring the first 13 points of the game and cruising to victory in Chris Paul's return from a shoulder injury. Paul had seven points, eight assists and four steals, while Blake Griffin led the way with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Los Angeles led by a whopping 31 points after the first quarter, with the game basically turning into an AND1 Mixtape. Just look at Griffin:
The Clippers led by as many as 56 points before settling on the final margin of 45, which is the largest win in franchise history. Los Angeles shot 56.2 percent from the field and racked up 33 assists.
The Sixers were simply terrible, knocking down just 27 percent of their shots and going 3-of-28 from three. James Anderson played only 16 minutes, but he managed to be a -40 in that time. Anderson, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes combined to shoot 2-of-22.
Chicago Bulls 92, Los Angeles Lakers 86
Joakim Noah had 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls held off the Lakers. Taj Gibson added 18 points and six rebounds in place of the injured Carlos Boozer, while Kirk Hinrich had 17 points and five assists.
The Bulls led wire-to-wire, and it looked like they were going to blow out the Lakers on several occasions. Los Angeles never went away and made a late charge, but D.J. Augustin forced a key turnover to help seal the win.
Chris Kaman scored a season-high 27 points in the loss. 62 of the Lakers' 86 points came from their bench.
Dallas Mavericks 102, Boston Celtics 91
The Mavs extended their winning streak to five with a comfortable win over the Celtics. Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points to lead six Mavs in double figures.
The game got off to an ugly start, with Dallas leading just 17-16 after the first quarter. But the Mavs' offense eventually woke up, scoring 85 points over the last three quarters to cruise to victory.
Rajon Rondo played well in defeat, putting up 15 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in a season-high 37 minutes.
Mason Plumlee had 22 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, part of an excellent performance by the Nets' bench as a whole in a victory over the Pelicans. Brooklyn's bench outscored New Orleans' bench 59-31.
The Nets dominated from the tip, opening up a 15-point lead after one and a 23-point lead at the break. The Pelicans made it somewhat interesting with a big third quarter, but they never got close enough to make it really interesting.
Cleveland Cavaliers 91, Memphis Grizzlies 83 (OT)
After hitting rock bottom earlier in the week, the Cavs have now won two straight games since firing general manager Chris Grant. Kyrie Irving had 28 points and six assists in the overtime win over the Grizzlies.
Irving was the reason the game went to overtime, scoring four straight points at the end of regulation. Cleveland owned the overtime period, with Dion Waiters providing the finishing touch:
The Grizzlies shot just 38.4 percent playing without Mike Conley and Tony Allen. Nick Calathes did play well in place of Conley, scoring 17 points and dishing out six assists.
The Wizards scored 57 points in the first half and then used a strong defensive effort in the second to beat the Kings. Nene had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead the way.