But hey, it’s a win. And guess what: TWO OUT OF THREE. Had it not been for Carmelo tearing out OKC’s heart, this would have been three in a row. Can you believe that? But one encouraging thing to take out of it is that instead of OKC getting the “Here we go again” feeling, they closed. A month ago, the Thunder would have lost this one by eight points. But instead, they closed. They made clutch plays, got big rebounds and most importantly, won. And that feels good. Despite what may have happened in about an eight minute stretch, the Thunder played awesome for about 40 minutes, then hung on for dear life for eight. And won.
But the path to getting there wasn’t pretty. After leading by as much as 25 late in the third, Al Harrington went on an 11-0 run by himself to cut it to 14. The Thunder called timeout, went on a 4-0 spurt and pushed it back to 18. But then New York went back at it and got it down to as little as three. At one point, the Knicks scored on 13 consecutive possessions. As the game tightened, so did the Thunder. Jeff Green (who was awesome tonight) was 7-7 from the free throw line. But late in the fourth, he missed three of four from the line. OKC turned it over time after time and in general was just loose with the basketball. Had it not been for the Knicks just going completely cold from three, this may have been a jump-off-a-building type game.