Carmelo Anthony returns to NY as Thunder face the Knicks

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - OCTOBER 19: Carmelo Anthony
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - OCTOBER 19: Carmelo Anthony /
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OKC Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 15: Russell Westbrook #0 of the OKC Thunder reacts in front of Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers after the game at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The OKC Thunder defeated the 76ers 119-117 in triple overtime. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After a demoralizing loss to the Orlando Magic on November the 29th, the OKC Thunder are starting to find their form. They’ve won 6 of their last 8 games and are now at the .500 mark – they face the Knicks at MSG tonight.

In the last game of a three-game road trip and the second game of a back-to-back, the Thunder look to go over .500 for the first time since they beat the Bucks on Halloween.

Preceding this New York matchup was an epic battle in Philly with the Sixers. It was a triple-overtime thriller, ending in a 119-117 win for the Thunder in the game of the year.

Russell Westbrook put up a monstrous stat line of 27 points, 18 rebounds, and 15 assists, though he shot 10/33 from the floor and 5/12 from the free-throw line. Melo and PG both scored 24 points apiece.

It was a very intense and tumultuous game.

Deep into the fourth quarter, Melo jawed at Embiid after Embiid made an and-one. The game would only grow even more chaotic as it went on.

Embiid blocked a Westbrook layup to force double OT, Roberson passed his way out of a potential game-winning layup in double OT, then got the ball back. He missed and the Sixers secured the rebound, sending the game to a third overtime.

Westbrook, having already played 48 minutes, somehow had enough fuel in the tank to run up the court and yam all over Dario Saric.

But that wasn’t all.

Steven Adams fouled out with 2:12 remaining and Embiid, being the troll he is, just waved bye at him as he left.

This game, like all games, was bound to end. And it ended in the way you’d expect it to…. with Andre Roberson scoring a game-winning layup. Not only that, but JJ Redick got blocked by Patrick Patterson on a three point attempt to end the game.

And after all of that unfolded, Russell Westbrook made sure to wave back at Embiid.

Enough talking about yesterday’s game, the Thunder have a new foe awaiting.

A quick look at the hosts

The Knicks, much like the Thunder, have been doing well recently. They’ve won four of their last five games and are 15-13 on the season.

A lot of that is thanks to Kristaps Porzingis, who has been averaging 25.5 PPG this season on 46.5% shooting from the field and 39.5% from 3.

MUST READ: Player grades from Thunder’s thrilling triple overtime win

Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, the two players acquired in the Melo trade, have also been key to the Knicks’ good start this season. McDermott is shooting 49% from the field and 40% from three point range. He’s been rather reliable for them.

As for Kanter, a Thunder fan favorite during his time in OKC, he is enjoying a career season. He’s shooting 60% from the field and averaging a double-double, something he hasn’t done since joining the Thunder late in the 2014-15 season.

This will be a difficult game for the Thunder in Melo’s return to the Big Apple as the Knicks have won thirteen of their eighteen home games this season.