Beasley bags 30 as Knicks spoil Anthony's Garden party

AFP
This was Anthony's first trip back to the Garden as a member of the Thunder since being traded in September for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick.
AFP
Reuters

Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Carmelo Anthony shoots against New York Knicks center Enes Kanter and guard Courtney Lee at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 16, 2017. The Knicks won 111-96.

Michael Beasley had the hot hand as the New York Knicks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-96 on Saturday, spoiling the return of Carmelo Anthony to Madison Square Garden.

Beasley shot 11-of-18 from the field to tally 30 points as six players scored in double figures for the Knicks, who improved to 16-13 on the season.

"Mike has been fantastic," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "He is engaged in practice, he talks with the guys, he is a smart basketball player."

Beasley "really understands the game", Hornacek added.

"Some of that stuff he does is effortless. He had a fantastic game."

Anthony struggled in his return, making just five field goals and finishing with 12 points, including none in the second half.

Anthony, who was featured in a highlight video during the introductions, heard cheers from the crowd of 19,800 but also a smattering of boos.

This was Anthony's first trip back to the Garden as a member of the Thunder since being traded in September for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick.

Anthony helped lead New York to its first division title in 19 years in the 2012-2013 season and averaged nearly 25 points per game in his six-plus-year stint with the Knicks.

But Anthony has scored more than 25 points just once in his last 26 games with the Thunder.

"The video montage caught me by surprise," Anthony said. "I wasn't expecting it. I was waiting for my name to be called."

He thanked Knicks' executives Scott Perry and Steve Mills "for making the gesture. That goes a long way".

There was plenty of interest in this matchup and not just because of Anthony's involvement. This was a battle between two hot National Basketball Association teams as the Knicks had won four of their last five and the Thunder had won six of their last eight.

Courtney Lee had 20 points and McDermott added 13 off the bench to lead the Knicks, who were without leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis, sidelined by left knee soreness.

Russell Westbrook had 25 points to lead the Thunder, who were outscored 23-31 in the fourth quarter.

Paul George added 18 points for Oklahoma City, which shot just 42 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line.

Reuters

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade drives to the basket against Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio during the first half of their NBA game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 16, 2017. The Cavaliers won 109-100.

In Cleveland, Ohio, LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 60th career triple-double as the Cavaliers beat the short-handed Utah Jazz 109-100.

James had his fifth triple-double of the season and third in his last four games. He had 10 points in the fourth quarter, was 9 of 15 from the field and 10 of 10 at the foul line.

Cleveland has won 17 of 18 overall and 11 straight at Quicken Loans Arena.

Center Rudy Gobert (sprained ligament and bone bruise in left knee) and forward Derrick Favors (left eye laceration) were out for Utah. Both were injured during Friday night's win in Boston.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 26 points, making 10 of 15 from the field. Utah made 17 of 34 3-point attempts.

Elsewhere, it was: Rockets 115, Bucks 111; Celtics 102, Grizzlies 93; Spurs 98, Mavericks 96; Suns 108, Timberwolves 106; Trail Blazers 93, Hornets 91; and Heat 90, Clippers 85.


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