March 7, 2020 / 3:23 AM / a month ago

Thunder rely on balanced attack to bash Knicks

EditorsNote: 2nd graf, updates reference to standings

Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; A detail view of the shoes worn by New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Danilo Gallinari scored a game-high 22 points to lead six Oklahoma City players in double figures Friday night, when the visiting Thunder cruised to a 126-103 win over the New York Knicks.

Chris Paul had a double-double for the Thunder (21 points, 12 assists), whose seventh win in nine games allowed them to stay in sixth place in the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks, who also won on Friday.

Steven Adams (12 points, 11 rebounds) also had a double-double for the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 18 points, while Dennis Schroder (16 points) and Hamidou Diallo (12 points) each got into double digits off the bench.

Elfrid Payton (18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) flirted with a triple-double for the Knicks, who have lost eight of 10. RJ Barrett had 17 points, while Julius Randle finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Bobby Portis had 14 points off the bench, while fellow reserve Mitchell Robinson scored 11 points.

The Knicks twice led by five points early in the first quarter before Gallinari opened an 8-0 run with consecutive baskets, including the last one that gave the Thunder the lead for good at 21-19. Oklahoma City scored 10 of the final 11 points of the period to take a 27-20 lead.

A dunk by Robinson pulled the Knicks within two at 36-34 with 7:13 left in the first half. Gilgeous-Alexander scored nine points as the Thunder went on a 22-12 run to end the half and led 61-48.

A 3-pointer by Gallinari gave the Thunder their first 20-point lead (80-60) with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter. Oklahoma City led 95-78 after three quarters before ending any doubt by going on a 13-0 run over the first three minutes of the fourth, a span in which Paul scored six points and sank a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 30 (108-78) for the first time.

The Thunder extended the lead to as many as 34 on a layup by Gilgeous-Alexander with 5:46 left.

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