National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at New York
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 16, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September with the assumption they would compete for a championship, but he and his new team have fallen well short of that expectation through 28 games. The Thunder have started to find their groove in December, however, and will try to find enough energy to give Anthony a happy homecoming Saturday when he returns to New York for the first time since the trade when they face the Knicks.

Anthony enjoyed one of his finest games of the season with 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting as Oklahoma City outlasted the Philadelphia 76ers 119-117 in three overtimes Friday, marking only the second time in 10 games in which the 10-time All-Star topped 20 points. The Thunder improved to 6-2 this month as their star-studded trio of reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, Anthony and Paul George combined for 75 points. While Oklahoma City will have less than 24 hours to recover from its marathon victory, it may be able to draw comfort from the fact New York could be without its top two scorers. Already without Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks watched leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis leave midway through the third quarter with an injury Thursday but found a way to secure their third straight win - a 114-104 triumph at the Brooklyn Nets.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV, FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE THUNDER (14-14): Westbrook added another layer to his statistical greatness in Friday's marathon victory, finishing with 27 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists to join former teammate James Harden as the only player in the last 30 seasons to tally at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game. Andre Roberson, who hit the game-winner with 10 seconds left in the third overtime, returned from a two-game absence to contribute four points, seven rebounds and three steals. George shot 5-of-11 beyond the arc and tallied 24 points Friday but continued to shoot poorly overall; the four-time All-Star is 18-for-51 in three games since a two-game absence due a right calf contusion, lowering his field-goal percentage for the season to a career-low 40.8.

ABOUT THE KNICKS (15-13): Porzingis is questionable for Saturday after removing himself from Thursday's game with a left knee injury; the 22-year-old forward reportedly had his knee "worked on" Friday and the discomfort in his knee decreased as a result, according to reports. With Hardaway Jr. already out indefinitely with a stress injury in his lower left leg, Courtney Lee scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half to hold off the Nets. Michael Beasley, who finished with 15 points in 20 minutes Thursday and has averaged 17 points per game as a starter this season, will likely draw his fifth start of the season if Porzingis is ruled out before the start of Saturday's game.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Thunder have won four straight against the Knicks and can even the all-time series at 65-65 with another victory Saturday.

2. Beasley is averaging 12.3 points in December after scoring 8.3 points per game in November and 4.4 in October.

3. Westbrook has produced a triple-double in each of his last three road outings.

PREDICTION: Thunder 102, Knicks 99
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 14-14 W2 9-4 5-9 0-0 14-14 2-5 7-9
New York 15-13 W3 13-5 2-8 0-1 15-12 3-2 8-9
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City New York
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
10/19/17 NY 84 OKC 105 105 41 43.3 84 41 40.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 28 39.1 4
New York K. Porzingis 31 44.0 7
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 10 2 8
New York K. Porzingis 12 3 9
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 16
New York R. Baker 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 636 38.4 142
New York K. Porzingis 626 46.4 131
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 271 48 223
New York E. Kanter 260 89 171
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 281
New York J. Jack 156
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  New York New York Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs New York - Points For 102.4 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs New York - Points Against 104.0 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 43.4 FG%
New York - FG% 44.4 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 44.3 Reb
New York - Reb 39.9 Reb
New York New York Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
New York Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 104.6 Points For
New York Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 100.1 Points Against
New York - FG% 47.1 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 44.9 FG%
New York - Reb 44.3 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 42.3 Reb