Durant, Thunder spoil McGrady's Knicks debut

09:19, February 22, 2010      

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Tracy McGrady's dazzling debut was just about everything the New York Knicks could have hoped for.

It just wasn't enough to stop Kevin Durant and the surging Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant scored 36 points and made the go-ahead jumper with 16 seconds left in overtime, and the Thunder beat New York 121-118 on Saturday night for their eighth straight victory.

"We knew there was going to be a lot of energy in the building with Tracy McGrady coming in," Durant said. "He played phenomenal. He's back. He played well but I'll take the win."

McGrady scored 26 points in his first game since the Knicks acquired him on Thursday at the trade deadline. But he was on the bench for almost all of overtime, perhaps exhausted after playing 32 minutes in his first action since December.

"He kind of ran out gas towards the end," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Not having played all year, a couple of years almost, 26 points, kind of not bad."

Durant also hit the tying 3-pointer with 6 seconds left in regulation of his 27th consecutive game with at least 25 points, the longest streak since Allen Iverson also did it in 27 in a row from Jan 12-March 9, 2001. The last longer streak was by Michael Jordan in 40 straight in the 1986-87 season.

Russell Westbrook finished with 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the longest winning streak for the Thunder franchise since a nine-game run early in the 2004-05 season. Jeff Green had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

"Everybody lives for nights like this," Westbrook said. "Basketball players live for overtime game, big shots, things like that."

David Lee had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who blew a six-point lead late in regulation and lost their sixth straight. Eddie House, also acquired at the trade deadline, scored a season-high 24 points.

McGrady had his first 25-point game since Jan 9, 2009, when he had 26 for Houston at Oklahoma City, about a month before season-ending microfracture surgery. He hoped to play 25-30 minutes and said he surpassed his own expectations. "I didn't expect to play the way I did," McGrady said. "I expected to move the way I was out there but as far as being efficient offensively, playing that many minutes, no."

Source:China Daily
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