New York Knicks 111, OKC Thunder 96: Michael Beasley spoils Melo's return (Highlights)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Michael Beasley leads the way with a game-high 30 points as the New York Knicks beat the Thunder in Carmelo Anthony’s lackluster return.

  • New York Knicks 111 (16-13)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 96 (14-15)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The New York Knicks beat up on Carmelo Anthony in his return to Madison Square Garden. Much like his time in New York, Anthony wanted to be the man tonight. He wasn’t. Melo got some nice cheers during his introduction, but that was followed by many boos through the course of the game. He looked good on the first few possessions, but his game was all downhill from there as well. He was 5-for-18 shooting on the night and only scored 12 points.

Michael Beasley took control of the scoring load after Kristaps Porzingis sat out with a knee injury. Unlike Anthony, Beasley was extremely efficient from the floor going 11-for-18 from the floor. He led the way with 30 points, but the Knicks offense was extremely balanced overall. Six different Knicks scored double figures tonight. Coach Jeff Hornacek was more creative with his lineups tonight and he is showing that he is finding ways to push the right buttons.

The Thunder were clearly spent physically after their marathon triple overtime game against the Philadelphia 76ers last night. The Knicks took advantage of this in the 4th quarter and began to separate from the Thunder. Doug McDermott came alive in the final quarter and hit some huge threes. Ron Baker and Courtney Lee chipped in as well with 11 and 20 points respectively.

This was the first game that the Knicks have won this year without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup. Not to mention, the Knicks were missing their second best scorer in Tim Hardaway, Jr. The Knicks needed to be balanced offensively and that was certainly the catalyst tonight. When the Thunder would key on one guy, the Knicks would find another. They shot over 60% from three-point range tonight.

The one guy missing from the party tonight was Frank Ntilikina. He only played 13 minutes due to some early foul trouble and he failed to score a point. This was a tough matchup for him, but it would have been nice to see him going toe to toe with Russell Westbrook down the stretch.

Despite Ntilikina’s rough night, this was a big win for a team that was missing their best player. Yes, the Thunder were coming off of some extraordinary circumstances, but good teams take advantage of those opportunities. The Knicks are not a good team yet, but games like this mean they’re definitely heading in the right direction.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.