NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and nine rebounds, and the New York Knicks bounced back from their first loss of the season, beating the Indiana Pacers 88-76 on Sunday.
Last year we let this game slip away, center Tyson Chandler said. It’s definitely the maturity of the team and obviously the maturity of the players. We got a lot of vets around here that understand that these games add up. These are the games at the end of the year when you are in that dog fight and jockeying for position, these are the games that put you over or under.
JR Smith added 13 points and Raymond Felton had 11 for the Knicks in their only home game in a span of seven games. After falling 105-95 at Memphis on Friday, the Knicks (7-1) go right back on the road to start another three-game trip Tuesday in New Orleans.
Neither team shot 40 percent, but the Knicks, perhaps sluggish after a quick turnaround following Saturday morning’s return home, built a big early lead, went up by as much as 20 and were never challenged.
Today was one of them days where we had to do it on the defensive end, Anthony said. Offensively we were trying to find it, shots that we missed that we normally make. But on the defensive end for us to be in sync the way we are right now, especially this early in the season, that’s a good thing. We want to keep building on that.
Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who remained inept offensively as they played without leading scorer Danny Granger. They had hoped they had broken out with an impressive 103-point performance against Dallas on Friday, but managed only 30 first-half points and committed 19 turnovers in the game.
We turned the ball over way too much, George said. When you look at it, we got 71 attempts and they got 90 attempts and when you are playing a team as dangerous as New York is, you give them 20 more shots, of course you are going to get the results you got.
David West added 14 points in Indiana’s sixth straight road loss.
THUNDER 119, WARRIORS 109: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant notched his first career triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists to lead Oklahoma City.
The three-time NBA scoring champion has had growing pains this season as he has tried to improve his floor game, with a bump in his assist number coinciding with an increase in his turnovers, too. He came in averaging four turnovers per game, the fourth-worst in the league.
He turned it over just twice in this one and pumped his right fist after he set up Kevin Martin’s three-pointer with 4:57 to play for his 10th assist. The play also helped the Thunder hold on after Golden State cut a 21-point deficit to seven in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points, and David Lee chipped in 19 points and 10 rebounds.
RAPTORS 97, MAGIC 86: In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and Amir Johnson had 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead Toronto.
Glen Davis led the Magic with 16 points and 12 rebounds, former Purdue star E’Twuan Moore scored 16 points and Arron Afflalo had 15.
76ERS 86, CAVALIERS 79: In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 19 points and nine assists to lead the Philadelphia.
Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday each added 14 points for the Sixers, who’ve won two straight and five of seven.
NETS 99, KINGS 90: In Sacramento, Calif., reserve forward Andre Blatche scored 22 points to lead Brooklyn to its fifth straight win.
The Nets (6-2) matched the team’s best start since the 2002-03 season when they went to the NBA finals. Deron Williams had 14 points and 10 assists for the Nets.
PISTONS 103, CELTICS 83: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Greg Monroe had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Detroit to its first home win of the season.
The Pistons (2-9) had blown double-digit leads in each of their first three home games, but were never seriously threatened by Boston down the stretch. The Celtics, playing their fourth game in five nights, hit only four three-pointers and trailed by as many as 22 points.